Ex-Police Chief Talks About Traffic Stop Of Cop

MIAMI (CBS4) – When Florida Highway Patrol Trooper D.J. Watts saw a marked Miami police car blaze past her earlier this month on the Turnpike in Hollywood, allegedly going more than 120 miles an hour, with no lights on or siren blaring, she rushed to stop him.

Her dashboard camera recorded it all. Her lights were on and sirens were blaring.

Instead of stopping though, Watts said the officer continued to drive recklessly. When he finally pulled over several minutes later, Watts said she approached him with her gun drawn.

“Put your hands out that window right now! Put your hands out the window!” she yelled at the officer, later identified as Miami police officer Fausto Lopez.

She cuffed Lopez and put him in the back of her patrol car.

In the off-camera exchange Lopez can reportedly be heard telling Watts he was rushing to his off-duty job. Watts however wasn’t having it.

“You don’t respect me sir. You don’t respect these people out here. Right now to me, you are a criminal,” Watts allegedly said.

“It’s unusual for one officer to stop another, admittedly,” former Miami Police Chief Ken Harms told CBS4’s Natalia Zea.

Harms said no officer should break traffic laws, unless they are responding to an emergency call and even then they should be careful.

“Just because there’s an off duty police officer, en route to an off duty job doesn’t give him the right to violate Florida statutes. I think the highway patrol officer ought to be commended for her diligence in pursuing this matter,” said Harms.

Despite the apparent high-speed pursuit and the reckless driving, which is offense in which an individual can arrested, Watts only ticketed Lopez for reckless driving and let him drive away.

“The Highway Patrol may not want to pursue it because it involves another police officer and may create some bruised feelings between the agencies, that’s up to the highway patrol,” said Harms.

Comments

One Comment

  1. Cesar M Gonzalez says:

    GOOD JOB OFFICER WATTS ! ! THIS GUY SHOULD SERVE TIME ! ! JERK ! !

    1. Jason Smith says:

      Gonzalez your a turd and it sounds like your a trooper. Watts is obviously a racist and finally put her stamp down… She has caused irriperable damage between The Miami Police Dept. and most other Dade municipalities. Watts is an imbarrasment to law enforcement. BTW, The highway patrol has a no-chase policy so the Rechless driving is going away. NO PC!

      1. Miguelangel Santimanzano says:

        Jason Smith, your a moron. Any driver without a badge and in an unmarked vehicle driving at those speeds on the pike will get multiple units rolled behind him or her. Watts did exactly what she needed to do. He had no right to drive like that, and was abusing his authority as a PO thinking that in his marked unit, he would not be stopped for breaking the law. The no chase policy has no bearing on the traffic stop. He was clearly speeding in excess of 25 over the limit, and that is sufficient PC to effect a stop. Why you would insult the trooper the way you have done is boggling, but you clearly sound like you either work for the same agency as the idiot who got stopped, or you have a beef with troopers in general. You will NOT find the majority of Miamian’s in agreement with you.

  2. Me says:

    That’s the thing here in Miami Dade, no one respects each other or other drivers. No ethics or courtesy at all!

  3. SoBe_Guy says:

    The guy was speeding, as does most of Miami while driving on the highways. Moms in mini-vans speed on the highway. This is so overblown and the super trooper destrowed a lot of team mentality between the departments for handeling it the way she did. A ticket was ok but making a fellow officer out as a hardened criminal for the world to see was not the way to go about it. Poor judgement for both officers.

    1. Annlyzer says:

      Moms in mini-vans normally don’t get clocked doing 120 miles an hour. As for the mentality of the FHP Officer doing what she did; well lets just say I would not want to be a trooper driving in the City of Miami’s juristriction for the next month.

    2. justsaying says:

      you must be a cop who takes a marked car home at a high rate of speed then use it for personal matters as well. all he had to do was pull over as soon as she turned her lights on and no one would have heard anything about this. but just like most of the officers here in s. florida he thought he was above the law.

    3. smhfarrar says:

      Poor Judgement!!!! He has to abide by the same rules that we have to follow. As far asI am concerned…HE IS A Criminal, a SuperSpeeder and used a priviledged vehicle thta he DOESNT own to drive recklessly and if he were injured or killed aomeone…the TAXPAYERS would have footed the bill and lawsuits because the public put HIM behind the wheel. So she had every right to treat him as such. You get what you put into it! Stop making excuses for him and judging her. I watched a cop pass me doing 90 mph. Ha di tbeen me, they would have pulled me over and locked me up!

  4. Annlyzer says:

    The Miami Cop should not only pay the fine, but have his privilage of taking a city car home revoked. How is it the city of Miami is broke but they allow Officers that live another county to take home a city police car? You want to save money, take awaay the home to work use of police vehicles.

  5. DOMINGO says:

    WELL WE ALL KNOW THAT NOTHING IS GOING TO COME OUT OF THESE THE COURTS WILL GIVE HIM THE TICKET AND THAT WILL BE IT HE SHOULD BE PUNISH LIKE ANY OTHER PERSON DONT CARE IF HIS A COP OR NOT HE WAS BREAKING THE LAW THE TROOPER SHOULD HAVE TAKEN HIM TO JAIL SHE WOULD HAVE TAKE ANYONE ELSE TO JAIL DOING THE SAME THING LOTS OF THESE COPS THINK THEY ARE AVOBE THE LAW HOPE THAT THE STAE DONT DROP THE CASE AND THAT THE TROOPER SHOWS UP FOR COURT AND THE CASE WILL NOT BE LET GO BUT IT WILL AT THE END THEY WILL PUT IT UNDER THE RUG AND NOTHING WILL COME FROM IT THATS THE WAY IT GOES HERE IN MIAMI .

  6. jeff lewsi says:

    Really Chief Harms, nothing to say about one uniform officer pulling another uniform officer over at gunpoint. If she really thought it was a stolen cruiser why didnt she wait for back up. You have been retired too long. I am sure you wouldnt want to be on the receiving end of that troopers gun. How unstable is she anyway.

    1. AndrewJ526 says:

      How about you focus on the reason WHY the state trooper felt it necessary to go after and pull over this OFF-DUTY cop.
      There is NO VALID REASON for ANY cop to be speeding at that rate of speed if not responding to an emergency call – NONE!
      If the OFF-DUTY cop had been driving SAFELY, then the trooper would have had absolutely no reason to go after him.
      Simple as that.

  7. Reid Welch says:

    Way to go! Women should rule like that more often. Wonderful story, and great reporting, Ms. Zea.

  8. Reid Welch says:

    Tell you what, women made us alll and it is women who will save us all.

  9. Luis bonilla says:

    SoBe GAY, you must be a cop. This officer had the correct judgement in pulling over this moron. he was putting himself and other commuters at risk. This happens all the time during rushhour. I follow these cops to see if they are actually responding to a car and the majority arent. No respect for cops.

  10. Allie says:

    “And this, boys and girls, is called favoritism!” Had this man not been an officer, he would’ve been in jail. At least he got a ticket, but I doubt that will teach him a lesson. He could’ve easily killed someone.

  11. jerald morton says:

    WATTS YOUR MY HERO ABOUT TIME WE CAN TELL OUR KIDS WHAT OFFICER WE CAN TRUST THANK YOU FOR DO WHAT WAS RIGHT THANK YOU AGAIN

  12. stacell72 says:

    He’ll get off….watch!

  13. Tony says:

    We all commend the action of the state trooper, perhaps it avoided an accident; and a reminder to all police officers to keep in mind officers they are not above the law

  14. Sergio Morales says:

    I wish there was a petition that the city of miam would see or even make a public outcry of how this scenario happens everyday. I respect with the police officers do for a living and I commend them. But let’s not forget it’s a choice, we look at them as we should be extremely grateful to them.
    Imagine he get’s into a accident and kills someone, than somehow the city will somehow come up with a story saying he was on call or he was responding to a emergency call.
    Oh wait next time I’m late for work I’ll just speed at 120mph. It’s amazing he’s off duty attending an off duty job but we foot the bill on gas, tolls, and wear and tear of our patrol cars. The abuse!!!!!!!!I wish there was a petition that the city of miam would see or even make a public outcry of how this scenario happens everyday. I respect with the police officers do for a living and I commend them. But let’s not forget it’s a choice, we look at them as we should be extremely grateful to them.
    Imagine he get’s into a accident and kills someone, than somehow the city will somehow come up with a story saying he was on call or he was responding to a emergency call.
    Oh wait next time I’m late for work I’ll just speed at 120mph. It’s amazing he’s off duty attending an off duty job but we foot the bill on gas, tolls, and wear and tear of our patrol cars. The abuse!!!!!!!!

    1. abootnkiki says:

      i think u repeat yourself

  15. pretzeldude says:

    Harms you were not employee friendly when you were the chief and you still go against the dept. employees.
    Lucky for you I’m not on the job anymore because I would make you a project.

    1. AndrewJ526 says:

      A police officer is meant to be a ‘public servant’, NOT a public nuisance.
      Police exist to serve and protect the public, NOT ‘rule’ the city like a Castro dictatorship.

  16. Evad Rekcat says:

    Any car doing 120 mph could possibly kill someone. I’m just saying…………

    The following happened in Jacksonville, FL………Officer Marcus Kilpatrick was driving an estimated 98 mph when his patrol car struck the truck driven by Matthew Brice Ogden Jr. on Merrill Road Jan. 14, 2009. Ogden, who was not wearing a seat belt, was thrown through the passenger window of his vehicle and died at the scene. The road has a posted speed limit of 40 mph and near an elementary school. The Jacksonville traffic cop was speeding after a vehicle with excessive window tint when the officer plowed into a pickup truck, killing an 86-year-old man. The officer did not have his emergency lights and siren turned on also.

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