Fenton dispatcher pleads guilty to stealing from injured officer to gamble

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A Fenton woman pleaded guilty last month to using her position as a Hazelwood police dispatcher to raise donations for a paralyzed police officer and taking them for herself.

April Briscuso, 40, entered a blind guilty plea to stealing $750 or more, which is a felony charge. Unlike a plea deal, a blind plea does not include sentencing. That is scheduled for July 16.

Police say that between June 9, 2017 and Sept. 10, 2017, Hazelwood dispatcher Briscuso organized several fundraisers to allegedly try to raise money for Hazelwood police Officer Craig Tudor, who was permanently paralyzed after he was injured during an on-duty car crash in August 2016.

But instead, she stole more than $9,500 to gamble at area casinos.

Tudor and his wife reported that they had not ever received the proceeds from the fundraisers, with the exception of checks that had been made out to Tudor himself or his wife, according to the police account. Briscuso had asked “numerous” donors to make donations to herself rather than to the Tudors, even after Tudor asked her not to.

Briscuso allegedly admitted to Tudor’s wife that she had been depositing the donations into her own bank account. After she was arrested, she confessed that she stole the cash from the events and used it for gambling.