Florida man arrested after cops mistake doughnut glaze for meth crystals

Posted at 1:07 PM, Jul 28, 2016
and last updated 2016-07-28 19:40:27-04

ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) — Daniel Rushing probably won't be eating Krispy Kreme doughnuts in his car any more.

The 64-year-old was arrested on drug charges when Orlando police officers spotted four tiny flakes of glaze on his floorboard and thought they were pieces of crystal methamphetamine, The Orlando Sentinel reports.

Cpl. Shelby Riggs-Hopkins wrote in an arrest report that during a traffic stop on Dec. 11, she noticed the flakes on the floorboard. Two roadside drug tests were positive for the illegal substance and Rushing was arrested. But a state crime lab test cleared him several weeks later.

"It was incredible," Rushing said. "It feels scary when you haven't done anything wrong and get arrested. ... It's just a terrible feeling."

It started on a Friday afternoon when Rushing dropped off a neighbor at a hospital for a weekly chemotherapy session. Then, he drove to a convenience store to pick up a friend who needed a ride home.

Riggs-Hopkins said she was staking out the area for drug activity. Rushing told her he had a concealed weapons permit, according to an arrest report. She asked him to step out of his car and noticed a "rock like substance" on the floorboard.

"I recognized through my eleven years of training and experience as a law enforcement officer the substance to be some sort of narcotic," she wrote.

Rushing agreed to a vehicle search. "I didn't have anything to hide," he said. "I'll never let anyone search my car again."

Riggs-Hopkins and other officers spotted three other pieces of the substance.

"I kept telling them, 'That's ... glaze from a doughnut," Rushing said.

He was charged with possession of methamphetamine with a firearm and spent 10 hours in jail before being released on bond.

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement told the newspaper that an analyst in its Orlando crime lab didn't try to identify what police found in the car, only to determine whether it was an illegal drug. They determined it wasn't, and three days after Rushing's arrest, the State Attorney's Office dropped the charges.

Rushing, who retired after 25 years as an Orlando parks department employee, told the newspaper he has hired a lawyer and plans to sue the city because he was arrested "for no reason at all."

Orlando police said in a statement that the arrest was lawful.