An internal investigation was launched after reports of Briscuso’s theft began to surface.
A dispatcher for Hazelwood Police Department, in Missouri, used a paralyzed officer in a scheme to enrich herself. April Briscuso was a dispatcher for 19 years, and when an officer in her outfit was paralyzed on the job, she set up a charity in his name. A charity she would fleece for $9,500+ to feed her gambling habit.
Officer Craig Tudor was responding to an emergency call when a driver turning into a shopping center crashed into the driver’s side of his patrol car. The patrol car went flying off the road and rolled off an embankment, landing next to the Village Square Shopping Center sign, upside-down. A bystander who witnessed the collision unfold said, “When their cars hit, his went flying, and for him not to have hit another car or that sign, was by the grace of God.”
After the collision, the officer was rushed to the hospital where he went under the knife for multiple surgeries. Officer Tudor was in critical condition and his injuries would leave him a paralyzed.
Craig Tudor was honored at a ceremony where he received a purple heart medal.
The other driver was not injured in the accident nor was the child passenger in the their car. They have been cooperative with the police investigation into the incident and charges have not been pursued against them.
After the tragic accident, officers from his department and others were looking for a way to help him get through the rough times ahead. Briscuso, a dispatcher at his department, took it upon herself to set up multiple fund raisers which garnered a great deal of support.
Briscuso put together dine in events at 100 local restaurants in Tudors name. Briscuso sold over 300 St. Louis Cardinals tickets in another fundraising effort on the officer’s behalf. She even held a painting for police event, and trivia night, in order raise funds in the name of her injured comrade. Briscuso claimed to have raised $75,000 for the cause through these events. She was even nominated for Fox’s pay it forward award by an officer and was featured in a segment on the news.
April Briscuso was arrested after her theft was reported, she admitted to gambling away the proceeds at the casino.
Briscuso said, “I’ve been a dispatcher for 19 years and I just feel very strongly about my police family… I didn’t think anything of it. One of our guys got injured and he needed us to kick in and help him out, that’s just what we do.” Briscuso was also helping herself to a portion of the funds raised during the charity events she organized.
Tudor and his wife report receiving no money from some of the events held in the paralyzed officer’s name. April Briscuso was investigated after reports of her pocketing the money from charity events began to surface. It turns out, that Briscuso was telling donors to make checks out to her not the Tudor family. She then deposited the checks into her personal account never making the funds available to the injured officer.
“The grievous actions of one person cannot overshadow the incredible encouragement we have received from our friends, family and the greater community. Yes, we are hurt by what April has done, and saddened that she misled so many that came out to support us, but we choose to focus on the many blessings we have received over the past year. We want all who have steadfastly supported us to know that their efforts have encouraged us through the most difficult season of our life.”-Tudor Family
Tudor and his wife have maintained a positive outlook through the “roughest season” of their lifetime.
Briscuso was afforded the opportunity to resign from her position as a dispatch officer after 19 years on the job. She will receive her full pension from the police force, and she collected $2,800 for unused time off she amassed. Briscuso was arrested for her charity scheme that ripped off the paralyzed officer and his family. She admitted to investigators she stole over $9,500 from the funds raised, and used the cash donations to gamble at a casino in the area.
She claims she ran into trouble and needed to steal the money, but she would pay the paralyzed officer, all the money he was due. She said “I’m not a criminal.” Tudor feels otherwise though, “it’s not really about money for us, it’s about deceitfulness.” The Tudor family has set up a gofundme account for those who wish donate.