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Fla. officer crashes into store because of cowboy boots

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The Associated Press

TRENTON, Fla. A police officer who crashed his car into a convenience store when his cowboy boots slipped off the brake said Wednesday he was embarrassed and not opposed to a new department ban on the smooth-soled footwear.

"They had leather soles and when I hit the brake my foot slipped off and hit the accelerator. It was my fault," said Michael Herko, who is one of two full-time officers in this rural north Florida town of 1,800 about 35 miles west of Gainesville.

Herko, 62, said he was pulling into the store when his 1997 Ford Crown Victoria squad car crashed Sunday evening. He was wearing a type of cowboy boots called ropers.

Herko's patrol car knocked about a 10-foot-by-10-foot opening where the store's two glass doors had been, police Chief Billy Smith said. Damage was estimated at $3,500.

Smith decided to ban cowboy boots for officers on duty.

"This has never been an issue before because it had never been a problem," Smith said. "It came up now because I knew he [ Herko ] was a good driver and a good officer so I knew there had to be something mechanical involved and that is why we got to looking at the cowboy boots."

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