DUNDEE, Fla. (WFLA) — A photo posted to Facebook of a man standing on top of a Polk County Sheriff’s Office patrol car landed that man in handcuffs this week.
Deputies say Branden Temples climbed on top of the marked patrol car Monday afternoon and stood on the hood, causing damage.
The patrol car was parked near the “Dundee Diner” on Highway 27 in Dundee when the photo was taken. No one was inside the car at the time.
Temples later posted a photo on Facebook of him standing on the hood of the car with his middle fingers up. The caption was a middle finger emoji followed by “the police.”
“How do you think you can get away with damaging a patrol car and post it on social media?” Sheriff Grady Judd said.
The Sheriff admitted this isn’t the first time someone has taunted his department on Facebook.
“Our detectives are the very best. If they want to violate the law and challenge us to chase them, we will chase them to the very end of the Earth,” Sheriff Judd said.
Deputies spoke with the owner of the diner and found out Temples is a dish washer at the restaurant. The owner confirmed he was working the day the photo was taken.
Co-workers of Temples were surprised to hear about his arrest.
“You wonder, what were you thinking?” Server Lisa Hood told WFLA. “I mean, he’s a good kid. He just made a bad choice.”
According to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office, the car now has about $360.50 worth of damage. Officials found a deformation in the center of the hood where Temples was standing, along with several small scratches.
Temples was later found at his home and arrested for criminal mischief over $200 and under $1,000.
Temples was also fired from his job at Dundee Diner.
“If you’re incarcerated you can’t do your job. We’re a busy restaurant and we have to have the dishes done,” Hood told WFLA.
Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd says deputies took him away in the same car he stood on.
The Polk County Sheriff’s Office posted Temples’ photo to its Facebook page, along with a photo of him being arrested.
The post says, “Since Branden liked Deputy Mixon’s car so much, and Facebook posts, we were happy to oblige him with one more.”
The post also states, “If you want to pose for a pic with one of our deputies and/or one of their patrol cars, all you have to do is ask…We’re pretty reasonable – we are happy to pose with you and happy for you to post the pic on your Facebook page.”
Deputies say Temples has no prior criminal mischief convictions, but has a history of narcotics violations as well as grand theft of a firearm, tampering with evidence and resisting arrest without violence.