Family: Florida deputy caught on camera breaking into dying man's home
Deputy Jason Cooke accused of stealing money, jewelry, medications
BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. – A Palm Beach County deputy was captured on surveillance video last month breaking into an 85-year-old man's home in Boynton Beach after the man was taken to a hospital and died, the victim's family said in a statement.
WPBF reported that Deputy Jason Cooke was arrested Thursday night on charges of burglary and grand theft with a firearm.
Cooke has since made his first court appearance, where he was ordered held in lieu of a $28,000 bond and to be placed on house arrest after posting bond.
The victim's family released the surveillance video to the public Tuesday. Family members said the video was captured Sept. 12 after their father was taken to a hospital because he had fallen and hit his head during a power outage caused by Hurricane Irma.
According to a probable cause affidavit, the victim, Moe Rosoff, lived alone and weathered the storm by himself.
Authorities said Rosoff's son asked deputies to conduct a welfare check on his father, and three deputies went to the home to find Rosoff on the floor of the master bedroom.
He was taken to Delray Medical Center, where he died later that day.
The victim's children said Cooke broke into the home after receiving the garage door entry code over his police radio and stole money, jewelry and several prescription medications.
Rosoff's family reported the incident to the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office on Sept. 20 after viewing the surveillance video, but the family said Cooke wasn't arrested until five weeks later so that the deputy could enter a 30-day drug rehabilitation program.
"We were told that Officer Cooke denied the crime at first, but after he was shown the video, he admitted the crimes," the family said. "Found in Mr. Cooke's patrol car was a 2016 prescription bottle containing Vyvanse, a central nervous system stimulant, 47 pills of Tramadol Hydrochloride, a strong pain killer (with 3 different markings), Proclorperazine Maleate an anti-psychotic drug and Carisoprodol (Soma) a muscle relaxant. Not all of these medications we think were taken from our father, leading us to believe that this was not Officer Cooke's first crime."
Besides being outraged that their father was targeted by a deputy, the family said it is concerned that Cooke was working in an official capacity under the influence of multiple medications.
"If Officer Cooke was operating in his official capacity under these medications, it is our belief that he may have posed a significant threat to the public's safety since just a few of the noted side effects of these medications include confusion, impaired thinking, impaired reactions, abnormal behavior, tremors, drowsiness, altered state of consciousness and anger," the family said.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office did not comment on Cooke's employment status.
"Unfortunately, sometimes an employee makes a bad decision which leads to misconduct," a statement from the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office said. "This misconduct was reported, investigated and subsequently determined to be criminal in nature, resulting in the charges."
Rosoff's family said Cooke is on paid administrative leave.
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