Author: The Office of Justice Programs’ National Institute of Justice (NIJ)
By Carli Teproff And David J. Neal Miami Herald
MIAMI — Two men face attempted murder charges after police say they used a tow truck to steal a pickup truck, led police on a chase in Southwest Miami-Dade and then reversed the tow truck at a “high rate of speed” into a police cruiser, according to Miami-Dade police.
An officer wrote in the arrest report that the driver “struck the police vehicle in an attempt to impale the officer in order to facilitate their escape.”
Arrested were Yariel Valdespino Rodriguez, 26, and Sergio Aguirre, 32. Valdespino Rodriguez also faces charges of resisting an officer without violence, fleeing and eluding, leaving the scene of an accident, reckless driving, grand theft and violating probation. Aguirre also faces charges of grand theft and resisting arrest without violence.
According to police, the incident started when an officer tried to pull over a tow truck improperly hauling a pickup truck at Southwest 90th Avenue and Southwest 16th Street at about 3:30 a.m.
“The vehicle being towed had no visible [brake] lights attached and was not properly strapped and chained,” an officer wrote in the arrest report.
As the officer approached the truck, according to the report, the pair dropped the pickup truck and took off. Another officer tried to pull the tow truck over at Southwest 16th Street and 82nd Avenue, but before the officer “could exit his marked Miami-Dade police vehicle, Mr. Valdespino intentionally lowered the boom of the tow truck…placed the tow truck in reverse, accelerated at a high rate of speed and struck the police vehicle,” an officer wrote. The officer was not injured.
“It could have gone through the windshield and killed our officer,” Alvaro Zabaleta, a police spokesman, told reporters Wednesday morning, referring to the tow truck boom.
After hitting the police car, the tow truck driver took off again.
“The tow truck then fled southbound on Southwest 84th Avenue and 16th Street at a high rate of speed, displaying a willful disregard” for the safety of the public and property, the officer said in the report.
After a short pursuit, the tow truck stopped at 3569 SW 90th Ave., and both Valdespino Rodriguez and Aguirre ran off, police said.
But it didn’t take long before the pair were captured.
Both have a history of run-ins with the law. Valdespino Rodriguez is on probation for grand theft auto until July 12. In 2015, he he went into pretrial intervention for fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer in a boat, records show.
And Aguirre was out on a $20,500 bond after being arrested in May and charged with three counts of third degree grand theft, burglary and criminal mischief. In 2014, he served probation for misdemeanor battery charge. Two years earlier, Aguirre was on probation for grand theft and altering the ID number of a boat.
Miami Herald news partner CBS4 contributed to this report.
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