Dispatcher accused of stealing funds meant for officer paralyzed in accident

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HAZELWOOD, Mo.– Authorities say a police dispatcher has been arrested, accused of stealing money meant to help an injured officer.

A spokesman for the city of Hazelwood told KMOV that April Briscuso, 40, was recently arrested. She is accused of stealing money intended for Officer Craig Tudor.

Tudor, a Hazelwood police officer, was responding to a call when he was injured in an accident in August 2016. He became paralyzed as a result.

Briscuso has been a dispatcher in Hazelwood for 11 years. So far, she has raised $75,000 for Tudor. But Officer Tudor says they only received some of that money.

A spokesperson for the city of Hazelwood said, “She did a hell of a job raising money, we thought it was all going to him. Kind of a shock to everyone.”

Now the organization ‘Project HURT’ which was started by officers in St. Louis injured in the line of duty, has opened a bank account that can only be accessed by Tudor. There is an account at US Bank labeled Craig Tudor Donation.

Briscuso has been placed on administrative leave while the Hazelwood Police Department conducts an internal investigation. The St. Louis County Police Department is investigating the criminal accusations of theft.

Craig Tudor later released the following statement:

We are terribly saddened by April’s actions and grieved that her activity has also hurt our friends, family, and the greater community that has so steadfastly supported us. We have full confidence in the City of Hazelwood and the St Louis County Police Department, and we know that this matter will be fairly and justly handled. 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 who 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 helped us to know that their efforts have encouraged us through the most difficult season of our life.

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