SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE (CBS4)- The father and step-mother of Amanda Haworth tell CBS4 they are horrified by damage to the Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Tropical Park that may have been done by a drunk driver.
“This is sacred ground,” said Bob Haworth, whose 44-year-old daughter Amanda was shot and killed Jan.20th of this year along with fellow Miami-Dade Police officer Roger Castillo as they were trying to arrest a career criminal in Miami who opened fire.
The names of Castillo and Haworth are on the monument at the memorial.
Angus Butler, the chief of criminal investigations for Miami-Dade Police and the President of P.O.A.T., the Police Officers Assistance Trust, said at 1:52 a.m. a driver plowed through the front gate of the memorial, bending bars on the gate.
The driver then drove nearly 200 yards to the memorial and drove around it and then uprooted and chipped a half dozen bricks, just beneath the monument that carries the names of the officers.
“It’s somewhat disheartening,” said Butler. “This is the time of year when families come here to reflect on their losses. The person who did this told officers he had been at a party last night drinking.”
DUI charges are pending against the driver, who police identified as 28-year-old Sadiel Ramon Martinez of Doral.
Police say he was treated for his injuries in this incident by paramedics and then assaulted an officer. He was charged with Battery on a Law Enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence.
A check of records shows that Martinez was arrested last year for disorderly intoxication and possession of marijuana.
He was transported to Kendall Regional Medical Center because of his injuries and will next face a Judge in Bond court.
It’s not clear why Martinez drove his car into the Memorial site, Police say.
“It’s disgusting,” Haworth told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench. “I can’t believe someone would do something like this to a police officers’ memorial where these people have given their lives for the betterment of Dade County. And for these people obviously to do what they did is horrible. I am in shock. I can’t believe someone would do something liker this.”
“She’s the last one on the wall who is honored. I hope she is the last one to ever be on the wall,” said Haworth. “And for someone to come in there like this is deplorable and unconscionable.”
“Here it is Christmas,” said Haworth. “This season is not going to be a very good Christmas for us. We’re going to miss Mandy terribly. And to hear that someone did this to this sacred ground of police is just wrong.”
“The site means quite a bit, that my daughter is honored there and her name will live forever,” said Haworth, fighting back tears amid the memories of his daughter. “And we can go there and look up and see her name and to be very proud of her as we always are.”
“It took my breath away,” said Diane Haworth. “It gave me chills because it is very sacred. It’s a very special place where we can go to know that Mandy’s honored there and many other people are honored there and have given their lives for us. It’s tragic for something like this to happen.”
“I get choked up when I think of Mandy,” said Bob Haworth. “We are getting by the best we can but not as well as I had hoped. Time, the passage of time, does not make this any easier.”