By LYDIA WARREN
PUBLISHED: 08:50 EST, 10 July 2012 | UPDATED: 08:54 EST, 10 July 2012
Two off-duty police officers have been fired for luring a fellow officer into a high speed car chase in a late night prank.
Officer Christina Fowler, with the Clermont Police Department in Florida, spotted the speeding car around 11.20 p.m. and tried to pull it over.
But the driver ignored her emergency lights and reached speeds of 90 mph in a chase captured on the camera on her patrol car’s dashboard.
Fired: Off-duty officer Marc Thompson decided to speed away from a patrol car in a late-night prank. He has now been fired, along with another officer
She followed the fleeing car and eventually cornered it in the Clermont Landing shopping center parking lot, the Orlando Sentinel reported.
The driver flung open the door and Fowler drew her weapon – but was stunned when she realised she knew him as Officer Marc Thompson.
Thompson was laughing so loudly he can be heard on the video.
He has now been fired along with Sgt. Mark Edwards, who was his passenger. A third officer in the car, Dennis Hall, was suspended for a day without pay.
Bad idea: Thompson had been driving 90 mph but eventually stopped in a parking lot – where he was caught on camera in the patrol vehicle
Busted: Thompson can be heard laughing hysterically on the video
The men were returning from a trip to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Tampa when they saw Fowler’s patrol car on the interstate, according to a police report.
Thompson told officers he was swerving his vehicle and knew that Fowler had turned on her emergency lights, but he was not paying attention.
He said ‘he was just having fun’, according to a police report.
Hall had suggested ‘it would be funny if he [Thompson] got out and ran’ when he was pulled over.
High speed chase: Thompson said he ‘was just having some fun’
Sacked: Thompson had worked with the Clermont Police for two years
The Lake County Sheriff’s Office investigated the March incident and found ‘all officers involved in this incident felt that the prank was not malicious in nature but was intended to be a joke’.
It continued: ‘Officer Fowler felt however that the driver, Officer Thompson, she was pursuing was driving at unsafe speeds which had the potential to cause a serious accident.’
Edwards had been with the department for nine years and Thompson for more than two.