Nicole Stasnek and Derek Fernandes, Coral Springs, Florida officers, allegedly lied about Susan Mait’s arrest in court. The pair is being investigated after an accidental cell phone recording revealed that they had lied under oath about the circumstances surrounding Mait’s arrest. No charges have yet been filed against Fernandes, 35, and Stasnek. It is not clear whether either party has retained a private criminal defense attorney.
The pair is suspected of lying while testifying in a case against 60-year-old Susan Mait of Coral Springs, who Stasnek arrested on October 4, 2011 on charges of felony obstruction of a police officer and driving under the influence. Mait allegedly refused to comply with repeated police requests to show her driver’s license and resisted arrest, and the officers said that they suspected that she had been drinking. The DUI charge was later dropped after testing showed that Mait was not under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs at the time of the incident.
During the initial testimony, Fernandes said that he spotted a Lexis SUV stopped on Royal Palm Boulevard while doing rounds and stopped his cruiser to see what was going on. Mait apparently got out of her car and approached the officer, saying that she needed to call a tow truck because two of her tires had suddenly blown out. She allegedly told Fernandes that she was unable to move the car but wanted to drive it the remaining miles to her home. According to Fernandes, she also told him that she was under the influence of Xanax.
Fernandes said in court that he told Mait to call a tow truck and that during that time, Stasnek arrived at the scene. Stasnek agreed with the testimony and told the court that she approached Mait and asked to see her driver’s license upon her arrival. Mait, who was on the phone with GEICO, refused. Stasnek claimed that she warned Mait multiple times that she would arrest Mait should she refuse to comply with the request. She then alleged that Mait put a hand in her face while refusing to comply. Stasnek told the court that in response she pulled Mait out of the car and arrested her.
Mait dropped her cell phone as Stasnek removed her from the vehicle, and the GEICO representative who was on the line ended up recording the entire incident thereon, save a small amount of time spent on hold. The officers alleged that Mait resisted arrest by body slamming Stasnek and tensing up her body. Stasnek also said under oath that she never swore at Mait, as Mait alleged. Mait spent one night in jail on the original charges.
The recording, which is 17 minutes long, revealed the following dialogue between Stasnek and Mait when Stasnek asked for the driver’s license:
Mait: Did you not see me on the phone?
Stasnek: Did you not see this uniform I have on? Don’t give me any s*** right now. Give me your f***ing driver’s license.
It also revealed this dialogue between Stasnek and Fernandes after the arrest:
Fernandes: I didn’t hear anything you said. I was in the back of the car.
Stasnek: I did drop the F*** bomb.
Fernandes (laughing): I didn’t hear that. In my statement, I’ll say I didn’t hear that.
Also, although both officers said that they had said under oath that they told Mait that she was disobeying a lawful demand several times, the recording did not contain any such exchange.