MIAMI (CBS4) – A Miami-Dade Police officer has been suspended as being investigated for allegedly driving drunk and fleeing the scene of an accident.
Larry Laverde, 30, was off-duty on August 11th driving northbound on Southwest 127 Avenue in a marked police cruiser, according to police, when he ran a flashing red light at the Miller Drive intersection.
While crossing the intersection, Laverde reportedly hit a Mazda driving eastbound on Miller Drive.
Due to the impact of the collision, police said debris from both cars damaged a Hyundai driving westbound on Miller.
“This is something crazy, completely 100 percent irresponsible,” said Fernando Monch, the driver of the Mazda. “Could have killed me, I’m supposed to be protected by police not police do that to me then disappear.”
According to the arrest affidavit, Laverde fled the scene of the accident and drove home.
About an hour after arriving home, the affidavit states, Laverde called a police colleague and told him that he was involved in an accident.
Laverde’s coworker met him at a nearby parking lot to assess the damage to the car.
Officers responded to the scene and administered a field sobriety test to Laverde, who according to the arrest affidavit, had glassy eyes and smelled of alcohol.
Laverde, a seven year veteran on the force, was placed under arrest and charged with one count of driving under the influence and fleeing the scene of a traffic crash.
He was also cited for running a red light.
CBS4 reviewed Laverde’s personnel file and found glowing commendations about the officer for alertness, dedication to duty and professionalism. The paperwork also shows Laverde has had trouble behind the wheel in the past.
Records reveal Laverde crashed his police car six times in six years, costing the department thousands of dollars in damages.
A review board found four of those accidents could have been prevented. Laverde underwent a driving improvement program.
Laverde has been suspended with pay while the investigation into the alleged DUI crash continues.