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Dispatcher allegedly stole from injured officer's fundraising account

Posted at 9:48 AM, Nov 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-11-15 09:48:01-05

ST. LOUIS (KPLR/KTVI/CNN) - A dispatcher is in trouble with the law.

Authorities said she used money raised to help an injured officer and his family for herself.

Hazelwood authorities said April Briscuso was arrested Monday on suspicion of stealing money she raised for former officer Craig Tudor, who was severely hurt in a car accident while on duty last August and is paralyzed.

According to the Post-Dispatch, Briscuso messaged a reporter, saying that she raised $75,000 for Tudor. 

She also wrote she "got desperate on my bills and used some money but had every intention of payin' him back." 

Tudor said he hasn't received nearly the amount of money that Briscuso claims to have raised.

In a statement, Tudor and his wife Christine said that they are terribly saddened by Briscuso's actions, and they have confidence that the city and Saint Louis County Police Department will handle the matter fairly and justly.

They also thanked the community, saying that the grievous actions of one person cannot overshadow the support they've received from the community. 

The Post-Dispatch reported that Briscuso is on leave. Authorities said they are conducting an internal investigation and may work out a restitution deal with Briscuso so she can pay back the money owed. 

Briscuso was earlier nominated by a coworker for Fox 2's Pay It Forward program, which awarded her $500 for her fundraising work on behalf of the Tudors.

"I've been a dispatcher for 19 years and I feel very strongly about my police family, so I didn't think anything of it helping them one of our guys was injured," she said. "He needed us to kick in and help him out, and that`s just what we do." 

Sgt. Tom Lake, who was shot in the face last November, said he personally understands how important that money is. 

"For Craig and his family just like me, those fundraisers are so important because so many officers have to work two or three jobs to make ends meet. And with Craig being paralyzed right now, He can't do anything. He can't work for a living, and it's important that he gets those fundraisers," he said.

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