State Trooper Arrests Police Officer for Driving 120 mph
POSTED: Tuesday, November 1, 2011 - 10:51am
UPDATED: Wednesday, November 2, 2011 - 11:07am
BROWARD COUNTY, FLA- Dramatic dash-cam video of the speeding arrest of a Miami Police officer by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper was released by authorities Monday.
Officer Fausto Lopez, 35, was taken into custody on the morning of October 11 as he was driving south on the Florida Turnpike near Hollywood Boulevard in Broward County at around 120 mph, according to the FHP.
In the FHP video, the marked Miami Police car, allegedly driven by Lopez, is seen weaving in and out of traffic at high speeds as FHP Trooper D.J. Watts gives chase with lights and sirens blaring. It takes nearly seven minutes before the car finally pulls into the median and stops. That's when the female FHP trooper comes out with her gun drawn and barking orders at Lopez.
"Put your hands out that window right now! Put your hands out the window! I'm serious," Watts yells. "Get out, get out of the vehicle! Turn around, turn around, right now!"
The trooper pushes Lopez up against his car and handcuffs him behind his back, and Lopez begins pleading with her to try to get out of trouble.
"Ma'am, I apologize, I was on my way to an off-duty...I'm late for work," says Lopez, who is still wearing his uniform. "I didn't know you were stopping me, officer."
"What? You're over 120 miles per hour!" Watts replies.
"I never saw you," Lopez says.
"How do you not see a car with blue lights in the dark?" Watts asks.
"Ma'am, with all due respect, I don't..." Lopez begins.
"You don't respect me sir, you don't respect these people out here," the trooper says.
Lopez tries to explain that he was on his way to an off-duty job at a Coconut Grove school.
"It's a private school but there's some high-end people there. I had to get there by 7 o'clock and I didn't think I was gonna make it," he says.
At one point, he begins to complain about the handcuffs around his wrists.
"Honestly, the handcuffs are not necessary ma'am, I'm very cooperative," Lopez insists.
"You know what, to me, you are a criminal," the no-nonsense trooper replies. "You scared me to crap. I thought that police car was stolen.
"I'm a police officer, I would never handcuff you, never, another police officer," Lopez says.
"You would never catch me doing this, trust me on that one," Watts replies.
Watts then seems to imply that other Miami cops also speed through the area.
"This is not a first time occurrence with y'all. Y'all come from that way all the time, this Miami police car and we never catch it," she says. "It's not excusable, there's no job, no off-duty job, nothing that important."
Lopez was criminally charged with reckless driving and later released. FHP is still investigating.