Car & Auto

Nov 16 2017

Kissimmee Police Sgt. Bruce Connors is charged with a hit-and-run accident outside a Brevard County topless bar where video of the accident shows an angry bartender chasing him from the parking lot as he sped away in his pickup. Orlando Sentinel #scion #cars

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Kissimmee cop charged after hitting strip club employee’s car in parking lot

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A Kissimmee police officer was charged after he slammed into an employee’s car in the parking lot of a Brevard County strip club and left the scene, records show.

Sgt. Bruce Connors, 36, was charged in early October with leaving the scene of a crash after ramming the car parked outside the Lido Cabaret in Cocoa Beach, records show.

He was relieved of duty 21 days later on Oct. 30 and placed on paid administrative leave. Connors, who joined the department in 2004, earns $66,000 a year.

The department has launched an internal affairs investigation of the incident. Police Chief Lee Massie declined comment.

Surveillance video of the crash shows an employee of the strip club dressed in a thong and corset running after Connors’ pickup moments after he hit rammed her 1965 Oldsmobile Cutlass sedan on Oct. 9 and sped away, records show.

Kissimmee Commissioner Art Otero involved in domestic disturbance

Henry Pierson Curtis

City Commissioner Arturo “Art” Otero was involved in a domestic disturbance a week ago after arguing with his wife outside a Kissimmee bar, police reports show.

A police report described Otero, who has announced he’s running for mayor next year, as intoxicated when he showed up at Kissimmee police.

City Commissioner Arturo “Art” Otero was involved in a domestic disturbance a week ago after arguing with his wife outside a Kissimmee bar, police reports show.

A police report described Otero, who has announced he’s running for mayor next year, as intoxicated when he showed up at Kissimmee police.

(Henry Pierson Curtis)

The club already knew who he was and where he lived. A week earlier, Connors had been drinking there and left without paying his tab. The club has a policy that anyone running a tab must hand over a credit card and driver’s license until the bill is paid, according to officer manager Vanessa Castillo.

Castillo gave investigators a photo copy of Connors’ driver’s license that identified his home address as the Kissimmee Police Department.

Videos from the club’s surveillance cameras released by the Brevard-Seminole State Attorney’s Office show Connors and two friends walk out of the club shortly before the crash. Connors kicked off his sandals and began shadow boxing barefoot on the pavement.

After slipping his sandals back on, Connors dropped his keys and took a moment to retrieve them before opening the driver’s door of his truck. After sitting for about a minute, he put the pickup in gear and immediately struck the classic car parked next to him, the video shows.

The defendant struck the Oldsmobile, stopped, changed the direction of his front wheels, drove further continuing to strike, a Brevard County Sheriff’s investigator wrote after watching the video. The defendant stopped for a moment, then fled the scene.

That’s when Jessica Bruce, 27, the car’s owner and a bartender at the strip club, came out of the club and began running after Connors’ pickup which briefly stopped at an intersection before speeding away. The sheriff’s office described noticeable damage to the Cutlass’ front bumper, hood, driver’s side fender and wheel well.

Bruce could not be reached for comment.

Records state Connors was advised of his Miranda rights to remain silent and told the crash investigator he was driving. struck the vehicle that was next to him and he fled the scene.

In January, he received his agency’s employee-of-the-month award.

Connors has distinguished himself within the department by proving that he is a hardworking, strong leader and team player. His can-do attitude and willingness to help is second to none, records state. He is a true team player and great leader, who displays a high degree of dedication to his position and his department.

CORRECTION: A previous version of the story incorrectly identified Jessica Bruce’s job at the strip club. She is a bartender.


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