Two police officers are in hot water after an incidental recording was taken by a woman’s insurance company. The recording proves that the officers lied in their police reports and when they were questioned by other authorities regarding the incident. The incident occurred on October 4. Officer Derek Fernandes, a veteran of four years of the Coral Springs Police Department, saw the Lexus SUV of Susan Mait sitting still in the left lane of Royal Palm Boulevard. Fernandes had no prior complaints on his record from internal affairs when this incident occurred.
The officer pulled in behind Mait to investigate the situation. Mait walked up to the cruiser of Fernandes and told the officer that two of her tires were blown out and that she needed a tow truck. According to the sworn depositions and reports from the officers involved, Mait told Fernandes and Officer Nicole Stasnek, that she was on Xanax. She reportedly also told them that she was unable to operate the vehicle but that she wanted to drive it two miles to her house.
Fernandes, prior to Stasnek arriving on scene, told Mait to phone for a tow truck. Mait did this from her passenger seat. She waited for a roadside assistant representative from GEICO to dispatch a tow truck but before this could happen the incident turned ugly. Stasnek also has a clean record and is a four-year veteran of the police force. She approached the vehicle of Mait and repeatedly asked for her driver’s license, according to the tape. Mait refused to show it. In the deposition of Stasnek, she allegedly told Mait repeatedly that she “would be disobeying my lawful command and would be arrested for resisting my lawful command.”
Mait reportedly put a hand in the face of one of the officers to wave off the request, which set the officers over the edge. The two officers ripped Mait out of the vehicle and attempted to arrest her. They claim she resisted arrest by tensing up her body and then slamming her body into Officer Stasnek. According to toxicology reports, the Xanax did not show up. The recording lasted 17 minutes and it has exchanges that contradict the sworn testimony of the officers.
The following is the conversation that took place between Mait and Stasnek after the officer requested Mait’s driver’s license”:
Mait: “Did you not see me on the phone?”
Stasnek: “Did you not see this uniform I have on? Don’t give me any s— right now. Give me your f—ing driver’s license.”
Stasnek said that she never used the foul language during her sworn deposition, which happened without the officers knowing about the recording. The officers were also asked if they told Mait that she was disobeying a lawful command. Both officers said yes but the recording does not back their answers.
The two officers can be heard saying the following towards the end of the recording:
Fernandes: “I didn’t hear anything you said. I was in the back of the car.”
Stasnek: “I did drop the F-bomb.”
Fernandes, laughing: “I didn’t hear that. In my [internal affairs] statement, I’ll say I didn’t hear that. … Don’t worry, I will put everything I heard beforehand.”