MIAMI (CBS4)- Recording released provide for the first time the voices of the witnesses to a horrible Miami Beach police ATV accident that seriously injured two beachgoers last July 4th weekend.
The witnesses also describe some disturbing behavior of two former Miami Beach officers who one witness said, “were acting crazy and grabbing me inappropriately.”
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench obtained the recordings that were released by Miami-Dade prosecutors and depict the confusion and chaos surrounding the accident that happened in the early morning hours of July 3rd on South Beach.
Beachgoers Kitzie Nicanor and Luis Almonte were struck by the red ATV. Prosecutors also released new photos of that ATV at the crime scene and pictures of bride-to-be, 28-year-old, Adalee Martin, who was injured when she was thrown from the ATV after going for a ride with 30-year-old Derick Kuilan.
Kuilan has been fired by the police department, along with officer Rolando Gutierrez, who was captured in a now infamous photo with him at a bachelorette party at the Clevelander Hotel before the accident. Kuilan is charged with DUI and reckless driving with serious bodily injury.
Prosecutors also released new photos of Kuilan and Gutierrez, who were on duty when the accident happened. They aslo released new photographs of Nicanor and Almonte on stretchers before being rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital.
“All I see is people laying on the ground and chaos,” said witness Camille Campbell, who was one of five women including Martin who were here from Pennsylvania for the bachelorette party. She rushed to the scene when Martin called her to tell her she was in the accident.
“I told her I’m coming over,” said Campbell. “I need to know if she’s OK and that’s when she comes running over, I mean, she was covered in sand, her hair a tangled mess, bawling, holding her back, completely hysterical.”
Witness Brooke Guilliams said, “The guy that was with the people that were hit were like yeah, they were driving on the beach without the lights on and they hit these people and Ada said she flew off the back of the bike and it ran her over.”
Investigators asked Martin about the accident.
“I didn’t hear anything,” she said. “I didn’t see anything. We hit something and I flew off the ATV. When I hit the sand, the ATV hit me and then bounced wherever.”
The witnesses described how they first met the officers at the Hotel.
“These two buff dudes in police uniforms, OK, come up,” said Brooke Guilliams. “It happened so quick. These cops came in and at first they were looking for somebody. And they took pictures with us and we thought they were strippers. They wanted to go on some sort of ride.”
“I made a joke because it’s a bachelorette party,” said witness Camille Campbell, “I thought, oh my Gosh, are these strippers because the uniforms are so snug and it almost looked like a fake uniform.”
Also at the party, witness Jamie Aldinger found the officers’ behavior truly disturbing.
“While we were dancing and being rowdy, one of them grabbed me inappropriately. I pushed him off and said something to one of my girlfriends that that guy gave me the creeps. Why were these police officers dancing and drinking and acting crazy and grabbing me, if they are police officers.”
“That doesn’t make any sense,” said Aldinger, who had come to Miami Beach from Pennsylvania for the Bachelorette Party. “I met a lot of police officers and none of them act like that.”
The statements of Aldinger are significant in that she says she saw Kuilan drinking at the hotel.
The audio recordings could be used in an upcoming civil case. Kitzie Nicanor is suing Kuilan and the Clevelander Hotel for negligence, claiming the hotel created an atmosphere for officers to drink freely. The hotel has denied serving Kuilan any alcohol at all.
Kuilan’s defense attorney, Evan Hoffman, says there is no evidence that Kuilan consumed alcohol at the Clevelander.
He has told D’Oench that he believes a judge will dismiss the blood alcohol test that was administered by a Miami Beach paramedic. He told D’Oench that Kuilan did not consent to the blood test and said police had no probable cause to test him against his will.
Hoffman also claims Kuilan was never reckless while driving the ATV and said that driving the ATV without headlights is part of police training.
Nicanor has told D’Oench that her injuries from the accident have prevented her from going back to work and has said that she is worried about being able to support her daughter. “This is terrible what happened to me,” she told D’Oench. “This could take me years to recover.”
Nicanor suffered a perforated heart, broken femur and lost her spleen.
“I came here on vacation to visit my parents,” she told D’Oench from her bed at Jackson Memorial Hospital in an exclusive interview after the accident on July 26th of last year. “I was out, but I was doing something stupid? No I was just going for a walk. I am suffering. I have a child. I am supposed to be on vacation.”
An outraged Miami-Dade State Attorney, Katherine Fernandez-Rundle, said on July 26th, “No one in the police department or law enforcement can accept the concept of a drunken, on-duty police officer.”
Luis Almonte was left with a broken leg after the accident and some internal injuries. But his attorney Tony Mesa has advised him not to comment.