By PoliceOne Staff
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. — An investigation is under way after an on-duty Miami Beach police officer crashed his department-issued ATV into two people on a beach early Sunday.
Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega said the officer involved in the crash, Derick Kuilan, was supposed to be patrolling the beach because of a recent spate of thefts.
He said police and investigators with the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office are looking into allegations that the officer had been drinking Sunday morning at a bar, before driving the ATV with a woman he had met at the venue, according to The Miami Herald.
Two people were injured – along with the woman passenger – when the vehicle crashed on the beach. None of their injuries were said to be serious.
Witness Jonnathan Adames told NBC Miami that he saw Officer Kuilan flee the scene on foot after the accident.
A second officer – who was also supposed to be patrolling the mid-beach area on an ATV – was also allegedly drinking at the same bar, according to reports.
Investigators are awaiting the results of blood tests to determine whether the officer involved in the crash was drunk.
“We’ll see what the statements say, but I find it hard to find legitimate reasons why an on-duty officer would be doing whatever he was doing at The Clevelander if it’s an accurate allegation," City Manager Jorge Gonzalez said. "And there’s no reason why anybody should be driving anybody on an ATV anywhere.”
Mayor Matti Herrera Bower said “I’m very upset about it. This is not something that should have happened. They’re supposed to be protecting the beach, not drinking.”