Officer Pulled Over By FHP Had Driving Complaint In Past

MIAMI (CBS4) – Miami Police have released more information about Officer Fausto Lopez, who was pulled over last weekend by Florida Highway Patrol trooper Donna Watts.

According to Officer Lopez’s performance reviews, he has one citizen complaint about his driving. But, the exact details of the complaint were not made available.

Overall, Officer Lopez’s reviews show his superiors gave found his job performance satisfactory.

Thursday, radio transmissions were released that shed light on the exchange between a Trooper Watt and Officer Lopez after her was pulled over last month for speeding on the turnpike.

Watt’s dashboard camera recorded the Miami officer, in a marked police car, blowing past her and other traffic on the Florida Turnpike like it was standing still.

“I don’t know what agency it is. I’m on 91, almost to Sunrise. He’s well over 120, and he’s not stopping,” said Trooper Watts. “All I can see is a white patrol car with blue or something like that. It would be Miami or DOT, and I’m sure it’s not DOT.”

On the transmission, her supervisor is heard telling Watts that if the car was, in fact, a City of Miami cruiser that she should stand down,

When Watts finally pulled Lopez over, dispatch instructed her to take down the officer’s name and contact information.

Instead, Watts is seen on her dashboard camera approaching the cruiser with her gun drawn. Once Lopez exited the cruiser, Watts placed him in handcuffs.

The Fraternal Order of Police (FOP), the union representing Miami officers, slammed the state trooper’s behavior.

She was “completely unprofessional and very reckless,” said Sgt. Javier Ortiz, the FOP vice-president.

Trooper Watts told her superiors she didn’t know who she was dealing with in the pursuit that lasted seven minutes and went twelve miles.

She thought the police car might have been stolen or carjacked, given that it kept going despite her blue lights and siren being on.

Lopez remains on regular duty.

  • James Smith

    GOOD FOR HER, how many times have I been on I-75 or the turnpike and have a Metro, Miami beach, N. Miami, Hialeah, to name a few, blow by me doing well over the speed limit, well knowing that because they are police officers, nothing is going to happen to them. (tickets that is) They are to fast to see the number on the patrol car. they should make those numbers bigger so that we can report them breaking the speed limits. Or, we’ll just wait until someone gets KILLED.

  • L. D.

    This case is wrong on so many levels,. I find it so outrageous that the FOP rep, Sgt Oritz is calling Trooper Watts “completely unprofessional and very reckless” iHOW ABOUT DRIVING 120 MPH, SGT ORTIZ???? No citizen would get that reaction from you so why are you defending an officer who had no care for the other drivers on the turnpike, weaving from lane to lane. Officer Lopez took an oath to uphold the law and protect the citizens. Driving 55 miles over the speed limit is not obeying the law or protecting the citizens. Officer Lopez did get a courtesy of not being arrested, the average citizen would have gone to jail.
    If I was a Miami resident and now knowing that officers can use their patrol cars and city gas for there own personal gain, I’d be at the next commissioners meeting asking for an explanation on that one. Police cars should only be used when officers are working for the City of Miami, not to go to a 2nd job or Disney World.

  • ConcernedCitizen

    Officer Lopez should consider making his second job his permanent one, he should be fired for actions unbecoming an officer of the law. Oh thats right, there is no law here in south florida, police only do what they have too, not up hold it. I agree with LD why is he using his patrol car to go to a second job, he sure as hell is not going to respond if he is working somewhere else, what about cutting our services, when police get the use of their patrol cars for private use, we need some house cleaning. The police work for the town, city, county, state, they work for us the tax payer, make them accoutable. Shame on Sgt Otiz as well, he’s no better than the officer he is defending. Time for change.

  • mike O

    Fire Lopez. Thats clear. Are Miami Police above the law? 120MPH to his other job? BUHBYE LOPEZ.

  • Bob

    Typical over reaction from a female cop.

  • Brad Canelo

    This woman (Watts) should have had a disciplinary action brought against her for NOT adhering to departmental procedures, case CLOSED!!!

    • jim

      You must be a metro officer. Small minded, self centered and stupid.

  • South Florida Cops Disciplined For Running Computer Check On Trooper, Trooper To Sue Agencies

    […] 11/04/11 – Officer Pulled Over By FHP Had Driving Complaint In Past […]

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