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MARION COUNTY, Fla. - A Marion County Sheriff's Office deputy has resigned amid his involvement in two separate incidents involving inappropriate contact with two girls, one of which is a teenager, according to disciplinary documents obtained by FOX 35 News.
Deputy Dylan Fruh submitted his resignation on Oct. 16 to Sheriff Billy Woods.
In the days leading up to his resignation, Fruh was at the center of two disciplinary investigations where he was 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, according to reports from the Marion County Sheriff's Office.
Throughout these investigations, Fruh was reprimanded to one- and three-day suspensions for each incident. He ultimately resigned four days after the second suspension.
"I want to thank the Sheriff for this opportunity and the privilege to have served in the Marion County Sheriff's Office and the citizens of Marion County," Fruh wrote in his resignation letter.
Here's a look at what happened leading up to Fruh's resignation:
Deputy Fruh followed 17-year-old girl to McDonald's, texted her in parking lot after traffic stop: MCSO report
The Marion County Sheriff's Office received a complaint on Sept. 13 from a teenage girl's parents who said their daughter was pulled over on Aug. 18, according to an administrative review document.
Here's a rundown of what allegedly happened, according to the report:
Fruh conducted a traffic stop on a 17-year-old girl at 9000 NE Jacksonville Road at around 10 p.m. He asked for her driver's license and they discussed who owned the vehicle, which was the girl's father. Fruh then asked the girl where she was going, and she said she was on her way to McDonald's to meet a friend. They had just left a high school football game.
Fruh went back to his patrol car for about a minute before returning to the girl. He asked her for her phone number, and the girl asked him to clarify if he wanted her phone number or her father's. Fruh said he wanted hers, and she gave it to him.
In an interview with deputies during the investigation, the girl said she gave him her number "because he's a cop, and if a cop asks me to do something, then I'm going to do it." The report also noted this was the girl's first time being pulled over.
Fruh gave her a verbal warning, and then asked if he can accompany her to McDonald's to "get a nugget."
The girl met up with her friend at McDonald's and they went through the drive-thru together. Since the lobby was closed, they ate in their car and said Fruh parked his patrol car three spaces away from them.
That's when Fruh texted the girl.
"Ain't no way they forgot my mf ranch," Fruh wrote in a text message to the girl. At first she didn't respond, but then asked, "Who's this?" to which Fruh replied, "It's Fruh."
He then called her, but she didn't answer. In an interview, Fruh said he was going to ask if she or her friend had any ranch.
Fruh said he sent the text message initially because "he thought it would be funny," the report said, adding it was "unprofessional."
When he was asked why he went to McDonald's, he said he was "hungry at the time," adding that he was "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 said.
He also said he didn't ask for her number to "hit her up afterward," but it was for the written warning he was going to issue her during the traffic stop. He did not, however, end up writing a warning.
"I believe I was going to document (her phone number), but then I did a verbal warning," Fruh said in an interview.
The report also revealed online search history on Fruh's company-issued phone. He searched "born in 2006," which was the birth year of the girl he pulled over. Fruh said he searched for that because he wanted to know how old she was because he was "curious." He said he didn't know why he was curious.
Fruh is 21 years old, a spokesperson for the Marion County Sheriff's Office confirmed to FOX 35 News.
The Marion County Sheriff's Office found Fruh in violation of dereliction of duty as a result of this incident. They defined dereliction of duty as "acting in a manner tending to bring discredit upon him/herself or the Agency." He was given a one-day suspension.
Deputy Fruh sent 'concerning text' to girl after searching for her info amid neighborhood search: MCSO report
A second administrative review was conducted days later regarding an incident that happened on June 14. Deputies were first alerted to the incident on Sept. 19.
Here's a rundown of what allegedly happened, according to the report:
Photo: Marion County Sheriff's Office
On June 14, Fruh was called in for backup to help locate citizens who were possibly stuck in a swampy area. Units were unable to find the subjects, but the reportee was able to, adding that they didn't appear to be stuck. They walked away and did not want to wait for deputies.
Fruh was looking for leads in the neighborhood. That's when his GPS pinged in front of a house, the investigation revealed. He knocked on the door and asked the girl who answered if she had seen or heard a few boys yelling for help. She said she didn't see anything, and Fruh said he should call the "precinct" if she saw anything. She said she would, and their conversation was over.
"I didn't have any information for him and didn't know what he was talking about," the girl told deputies in an interview.
A couple of hours later, Fruh texted her, despite her name or contact info not being in the call for service request.
"You let me know if you see them," Fruh said.
"Who's this?" she replied.
"Deputy Fruh, I just spoke to you," he said back.
She asked him how he got her phone number, and he said, "Girl we got resources."
She told deputies in an interview that she didn't know who it was because she didn't give anyone her phone number, adding that the situation made her "uncomfortable" because she didn't know how Fruh got her phone number. She told her parents, who told her to not text him because "he could be a ‘weirdo,’" the report said.
The girl's age was not disclosed in the report.
The investigation revealed that Fruh used the Marion County Sheriff's Office's Driver and Vehicle Information Database to look for the girl's number. He ran her license plate because "I like to know who I'm talking to," and wanted her name "in case any red flags pop up." He also used the database for a photo of her to confirm it was her.
"It was just me being nosy," Fruh said in an interview about his search history.
He said he initially went to her house "because I thought she was cute," Fruh said in an interview. He didn't knock on anyone else's door during the search for the subjects.
Fruh's body-worn camera and in-car camera were not activated at the time of his involvement in this case, a violation, according to the sheriff's office.
"He advised there was no particular reason he did not activate his (body-worn camera), just that he forgot," the report said.
The investigation also revealed a discrepancy in his timeframe. Fruh said he spoke to her after searching for her in the database, but the timeline of events does not support that, deputies said. He said he doesn't remember searching her after speaking to her, but "it's very possible," he said.
Fruh was found in violation of not activin his body-worn camera and unauthorized use of the database. He was given a three-day suspension.