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BPD officer suspended after dispute with tow truck driver

BRADENTON — A Bradenton Police Department officer was suspended after internal investigators found he tried to use his position as a police officer to get his son-in-law’s car back after it was towed from a Tampa apartment complex.

Police internal affairs investigators also found Officer Christopher Hutchko used law enforcement databases to run a background check on a tow truck driver for the company in violation of departmental rules. The violations led to a written reprimand and a 20-hour unpaid suspension, according to the police internal affairs report.

The internal affairs report said on Dec. 13, 2008, Hutchko attempted to retrieve his son-in-law’s car from a tow yard in Tampa. A tow truck driver said the officer flashed his police badge and demanded the car be released.

During a dispute with the tow truck driver, Hutchko also took the driver’s name and date of birth and had a Bradenton police dispatcher run a background check on the man, the report said.

Police officials charged Hutchko with violating department policies by conducting an investigation in a personal quarrel and misuse of criminal justice information.

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