Survivors, fellow officers betrayed by theft of contributions
PELHAM, GA (WALB) - An ex police officer who set up a go fund me page to raise money for the widow and family of late Pelham police officer John Mucci was arrested Thursday, accused of stealing the donations.
Co workers of a late Pelham Police officer are outraged over the theft of money meant to help his family. Mucci died suddenly of natural causes in April, leaving behind a wife and newly born son and young daughter.
Kacie Mucci did not want us to show her face, because she admits she is scared of the man accused of stealing from her. "We're struggling. It's really hard."
David Smith is charged with theft by taking, stealing $17,000 raised in a go fund me account set up to help the family of late Pelham Police Officer John Mucci.
"That's what upset me the most. That he done this to my son's father and to my husband. And that's what really has hurt me the most," Kacie Mucci said.
Mucci's fellow officers at the Pelham Police say the news of Smith's arrest has people mad. Pelham Police Chief Nealie McCormick said "Officer Mucci was very well thought of in the city of Pelham. Everybody liked him who met him. So I'm sure the public is very upset about this."
Smith and John Mucci served together at the Warwick Police Department, but Kacie says they were not close. When thousands of dollars had been donated to the fund, and she received none of it, the GBI arrested Smith.
Pelham Assistant Police Chief Rod Williams said "It's unimaginable how somebody could do that and lay their head down at night and go to sleep. I just can't imagine it."
Now the Pelham Police Department is doing what they can to help Kacie, who is struggling financially. "Yes, they can contact me, Adam Lamb, at the Pelham Police Department and I assure you she will get whatever anybody sends her," Pelham Police Officer Adam Lamb said.
Friends wanting to help their late co-worker and his family, and bring justice in this troubling incident. The officers say they doubt Kacie Mucci every sees any of that missing go fund me money. If you want to donate, you can call the Pelham Police Department at 294-6003.
Georgia state officials say David Smith has worked for a number of South Georgia law enforcement agencies.
The Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Council tells us that they have an investigation underway on Smith. He last worked for the Warwick Police Department. But POST said he has also worked previously with the Smithville Police Department, the Terrell County Sheriff's Office, Lumpkin Police, Unadilla Police, and the Department of Juvenile Justice.
GoFundMe was started in May of 2010 and has quickly become one of the world's number one fundraising sites. However, Donors should only contribute payments to GoFundMe users they personally know and trust.
Unfortunately there is no way to guarantee that a user's GoFundMe donation page contains accurate or truthful information. When in doubt, don't donate.
Copyright 2015 WALB. All rights reserved.