Dispatcher Steals Money She Raised For Officer Paralyzed From Chest-Down

April Briscuso tells newspaper she got 'desperate' and had some bills to pay but plans on paying the paralyzed officer back

Hazelwood, Missouri – A police dispatcher who was praised for her efforts to raise money for an officer paralyzed in the line of duty was arrested and led out of police headquarters in handcuffs on Nov. 13 amid an investigated she stole some of the funds.

April Briscuso, 40, was arrested on suspicion of stealing more than $750 meant for former Hazelwood Officer Craig Tudor.

Briscuso was not immediately charged, but was released later in the day, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Hazelwood Police Chief Gregg Hall said he could not comment on the ongoing investigation, so it’s unclear how much money Briscuso could have stolen. Briscuso sent a Facebook message to a reporter that stated she had raised more than $75,000 on Tudor’s behalf, the newspaper reported. The the injured officer said his family has received nowhere near that amount.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported that it was unclear whether Briscuso would be charged or if the matter would be resolved through restitution. The St. Louis County police are handling the investigation.

In Facebook messages to a reporter, Briscuso said "I'm getting it all to him" when asked whether she had given Tudor all of the money she raised for the paralyzed officer, according to the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

"I did a hell of a lot of work for him and raised over $75,000 plus time and work. I got desperate on my bills and used some money but had every intention on payin' him back ... I am not a criminal ... I just made a mistake but plan on paying him every dime no question. He will not be betrayed by me,” Briscuso told the newspaper.

However, Tudor said he felt betrayed.

"It's really not about the money for us, it's about the deceitfulness," Tudor said.

"This has been one tough year and now we have to deal with a situation with someone who is supposed to be helping," Tudor added. "And when people hear stuff like this, they get apprehensive about other officers having fundraisers going on."

Officer Tudor was out on a call for assistance on Aug. 25, 2016 when his patrol car collided with another car. Officer Tudor’s car went off the road and overturned.

Danielle Banks, the driver in the car that hit Officer Tudor’s vehicle, was trying to turn into a shopping center when she struck the side of the officer’s car.

Tudor, 37, was paralyzed from the chest down.

If you're concerned about the fundraising for an officer, the non-profit OfficerDown.US conducts full vetting on all of their campaigns to ensure that the money gets to the people who need it.

Do you think that people who steal from fundraisers should be punished more harshly than other thieves? We'd like to hear from you. Please let us know in the comments.

The "love" (coveting, desire for) money is the root of all evil.

A benefit was held for my deceased daughter. Every cent was taken by her ex brother in law. I was told nothing could be done.

Wow.....its a shame.....this happens more than we know...just like all these fundraising sites for people who are raising money for victims of flooding, their 'friends or families' that have lost everything, etc. DON'T DO IT. Donate via a reputable cause/site. Hopefully, she will lose her job and really feel sorry for what she did! I work for a bank and could always use a few bucks....do you think I'm going to embezzle money? That's just a stupid statement she made! I am also sorry to hear about this officers condition. Prayers for him and family!

Yes stealing is stealing! She did not ask to borrow it she took it. Last time I checked that was stealing and you are considered a thief. No free pass sweetie even tho you worked so hard to help that gives you no right to take money you raised for him. Now off to jail you should go poof

If a person is collecting money to help someone in dire need, I would pay by check or money order, made out to that person or a CLOSE family member. Having $75,000 in cash donations obviously was too tempting for her, and really, who’s to say she didn’t collect more? She bragged to the reporter that she had collected that much, but maybe it was more...I don’t know but after reading this, I would definitely donate to help others, but I’d make out a check/money order! Wow! Just wow!🤬😡