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Officer faces discipline for flirtation

A Tampa police officer faces discipline for making sarcastic and suggestive comments to a woman who was being cited for a traffic infraction. According to Internal Affairs investigators, Officer Tom A. Hevel offered to "get rid" of the traffic ticket in exchange "for dinner, or more."

Hevel, who has been with the department since 1986, will be disciplined for conduct unbecoming an officer, records said.

The 21-year-old woman complained to the department's Internal Affairs unit in February, two days after she was pulled over on Interstate 275 near Howard Avenue about 1:30 p.m. Feb. 4, records said. She was cited for reckless driving.

The woman told investigators that Hevel flirted with her, was disrespectful and said things in a "suggestive" manner. She alleged that Hevel told her he could "get rid" of the ticket if she were nice to him. When she said she would take him out to dinner, Hevel allegedly said, "Anything else?"

The woman told him no and drove away after signing the ticket.

"I am in total shock that an officer of the law would make such a sexual accusation to a young female," she wrote in her complaint to the police.

The woman initially was pulled over by Lt. Tom Kester, who called Hevel for backup because he was late for an appointment, reports said. Kester left and Hevel began writing the ticket.

According to records, the woman became upset and started crying. Hevel told her that he was not going to take her to jail and to sit in her car and "think of something nice to say."

The woman said Hevel asked her if she were married and if she had a boyfriend. He then waved the ticket in the air, asking her, "Wouldn't you like this to blow away?" reports said.

Hevel told investigators that he was not trying to get a date with the woman. However, he admitted saying, "Anything else?" when she asked him to dinner.