WVSP investigating complaint against Bridgeport trooper

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 6:11 PM EDT
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BRIDGEPORT, W.Va (WDTV) - West Virginia State Police are investigating one of their own after a complaint was filed against a Bridgeport-based trooper.

Jennifer Bruce and her husband, Alex, own a convenience store in Lost Creek.

During a WVSP compliance check last week, one of their employees sold tobacco to an underaged customer.

That sale resulted in the employee being cited, Bruce told 5 News.

Bruce says after the initial citation was issued, she got a call from Trooper Trupo with WVSP’s Bridgeport detachment.

She says Trupo told her, as the business owner, she was also due a citation.

During the call, Bruce says she asked Trupo if he could mail her the citation, which she claims he agreed to do. She then asked if he could include a copy of the law under which she was being cited.

At that point, Bruce says, Trupo told her he would not mail the citation and that she could either go to the Bridgeport detachment office and get it in person or he could issue a warrant for her arrest.

Bruce went to the office to get the citation and recorded her interaction with Trupo which she shared with 5 News.

Below is an excerpt from the audio recording:

Bruce: “By chance can we talk first?”

Trooper: “Yeah.”

Bruce: “Like, your threat to get a warrant for my arrest.. wait, let me speak first. Please don’t interrupt.”

Trooper: “Sit down. Sit down. Be quiet. You’re going to take the citation and you’re going to walk out of here with a citation. If you want to run your mouth go ahead and talk do you understand me?”

Bruce: “You offered to mail it.”

Trooper: “Sit down. I told you I would not mail you a ticket. Sit down.”

Bruce: “Why are you speaking to me like this?”

Trooper: “Do you want to go to jail right Godd--- now? Sit down, shut your f---ing mouth and you will take a ticket and you will leave this f---ing office. Do you understand? You have two options. One, take a ticket, or you go with charges to North Central Regional Jail. Shut up. Sit down. Shut up. I will not hear any more out of your f---ing mouth.”

“I was just in shock that he had exploded like that,” Bruce said. “It wasn’t just being cursed at, it was the pure anger, the pure fear that he put into me.”

5 News reached out to the Bridgeport detachment as well as state police officials in Charleston, including the professional standards unit.

WVSP officials said they are aware of the recording involving Trooper Trupo and are investigating.

They declined to answer further questions, citing the ongoing investigation.

Bruce and her husband say they’ve filed a formal complaint against Trupo.

She says she wants to make other people aware of how she was treated.

“I’m not saying strip this man from his rights to do anything,” she said. “I just want him to learn from this.”