A Miami Police officer was arrested at gunpoint and charged with
reckless driving after allegedly leading the Florida Highway Patrol on a
seven-minute chase in his squad car at speeds that reached 120 mph on
Florida’s Turnpike in Broward County earlier this month.A highway patrol trooper
pulled out her gun to arrest Fausto López, 35, after he reportedly ignored repeated warnings to stop.
López could not be reached for comment. As of Saturday, he was still assigned
to regular duty at the Miami Police Department, said Cmdr. Delrish
Moss, “because at this point it’s a traffic offense.”
The incident, first reported by Univision 23, started at 6:28 a.m.
Oct. 11 on the southbound turnpike at Commercial Boulevard, when a
trooper, identified as D.J. Watts, saw a Miami patrol car switching
lanes in a dangerous manner.Watts turned on her lights and siren but couldn’t reach López, who was driving more than 120 mph, the report said.
about 6:33 a.m., Watts caught up to López. When she pulled in back of
López’s car, she once again activated her lights and siren, but López
ignored the warnings, according to the report, and kept going.Finally, at 6:35a.m., seven minutes after the start of the high-speed chase, López stopped his car near Hollywood.
An FHP video given to Univision shows Watts approaching López’s car with her gun drawn.
“She drew her gun for her own safety based on the actions of the driver,” said Sgt. Mark Wysocky, an FHP spokesman in Broward.
ordered López to step out of the vehicle, handcuffed and detained him.
As he was getting out of his vehicle, López explained to Watts that he
was driving so quickly because he was late to his off-duty job, which
started at 7 a.m. López was released, but was criminally charged with reckless driving, which is considered a second-degree misdemeanor.
Miami Police spokesman Moss said the Florida Highway Patrol alerted them to the episode right away.
“We immediately launched an administrative investigation,” he said.
“However, we’re taking a back seat, and watching the criminal process as
it takes place. At the conclusion of the criminal process we will take
whatever administrative action we deem necessary.”