Florida deputy followed girl to McDonald’s after traffic stop, sent ‘inappropriate’ texts: police

A Florida sheriff’s deputy has resigned after an investigation was launched into his inappropriate conduct on-duty with two teenage girls, per disciplinary documents. 

Marion County Sheriff’s Deputy Dylan Fruh allegedly took down one underage girl’s number during a traffic stop. He then followed her to an area fast food eatery, and on another occasion used department resources to procure the number of and text a different teen girl, per documents procured by FOX 35 Orlando.

Leading up to his resignation Oct. 16, Fruh, 21, was reportedly found to be in violation of dereliction of duty, not activating his body-worn camera and using an information database for non-work-related searches.

Fruh was reprimanded and put on one-to-three day suspensions after each incident and resigned after the second suspension, per the Marion County Sheriff’s Department documents. 

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On Aug. 18, Fruh reportedly pulled over a 17-year-old girl driving on Northeast Jacksonville Road around 10 p.m. After taking the girl’s driver’s license and determining that her father owned the vehicle, Fruh allegedly asked the girl where she was going, per a complaint lodged in September by her parents. 

The girl said that she had just left a high school football game, and was on her way to meet a friend at McDonald’s. 

After going to his patrol car for about a minute, Fruh returned and asked for the girl’s phone number. The girl asked him to clarify whether he wanted her or her father’s number. Fruh said he wanted her number, and she gave it to him. 

The girl told deputies in a later investigation that she gave Fruh her number because “he’s a cop.” 

“If a cop asks me to do something, then I’m going to do it,” the girl reportedly told investigators with the department, noting that it was her first time being pulled over. 

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It is unclear what instigated the traffic stop. In later interviews, Fruh said he took down the girl’s number for a written warning that he was going to issue her — he never did issue a written warning. 

“I believe I was going to document [her phone number], but then I did a verbal warning,” Fruh told investigators. “[I didn’t plan to] hit her up afterward.”

 Fruh reportedly gave the girl a warning, then asked if he could accompany her to “get a nugget” at the fast food chain. It is unclear how the girl responded. 

The girl then met up with her friend at McDonald’s and the two went through the drive-thru. They parked in the restaurant’s lot to eat in the car — and noticed as a patrol car parked three spaces away from them. 

Then, per the disciplinary documents, the girl got a text from an unknown number: 

“Ain’t no way they forgot my mf ranch,” Fruh allegedly wrote in a text to the girl. When she texted back asking who she was speaking with, the cop responded “It’s Fruh.”
 
He then called her, per the document. In later interviews, Fruh said that he was going to ask the girl whether she or her friend had any ranch they could spare. 

The cop said that he sent the text message because he “thought it would be funny,” admitting that it was “unprofessional,” but his actions amounted to community policing.

“He explained he wanted to show that cops are not bad and are willing to go out and do something with the community,” the report read. 

In the time period of the traffic stop, the report read, Fruh allegedly searched “born in 2006” — the year that the girl was born as printed on her license — on a search engine. He told investigators he did so because he was “curious,” and said he didn’t know why he was curious.

In an earlier incident in June, also reported by the victim’s parents in September, a teen girl allegedly answered when Fruh knocked on her family’s door amid a police search for citizens who were possibly stuck in a swampy area, per the documents. 

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Fruh asked the girl if she had seen or heard a few boys yelling for help, per the documents. The girl said she didn’t see anything — Fruh told her to call the “precinct” if she did. 

“I didn’t have any information for him and didn’t know what he was talking about,” the girl told deputies in an interview after her family reported the Sept. 19 incident. 

Fruh did not go to any other houses in his investigation, and told investigators later that he went to her house because he “thought she was cute,” per the documents. He never activated his body-worn camera.

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