CUTLER BAY(CBS4) — A veteran Miami-Dade Police officer has been relieved of pay after detectives say he was driving drunk last Saturday night when his white GMC truck hit a shopping cart with two children inside it.
“It’s crazy,” said the victims’ father Manny Garcia of Cutler Bay. “They are supposed to be protecting us, not hurting us.”
Garcia told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “I felt like my whole world had stopped. I didn’t know what to think.”
Garcia released cell phone video showing the officer being given a field sobriety test at the shopping plaza at 20425 Old Cutler Road.
A police report said 41-year-old officer Ryan Robinson, who’s been with the department since October of 2003, had “an odor of alcoholic beverages on his breath” and “bloodshot watery eyes” when arrested.
Ironically, Miami-Dade Police personnel records show that Robinson had been relieved of duty for three weeks on July 25th of 2013 after he had purchased alcohol while in a marked unit and while off duty.
Records show he also had 10 accidents between 2004 and 2007 and one accident in 2013. Three of those accidents were “preventable.”
In this latest accident, Miami-Dade Police say Robinson was off duty at 8:22 P.M. last Saturday in his 1997 GMC truck when he was involved in a traffic crash causing property damage and then struck the grocery cart when he tried to leave.
Police say the cart fell on its side and the children fell on the road.
“I’m okay,” said 6-year-old Meah Garcia when she pointed to her bruised nose. She also said she suffered cuts on her face. “My Dad was angry about it.”
Manny Garcia said his 3-year-old daughter Meah also had cuts on her face too.
“It started when the white GMC truck hit my car,” said Garcia.“Then I yelled back up, back up. He goes forward. He hits the cart and it flips over and the kids fell out of the cart on the concrete.”
“A woman told me he was trying to take off,” he said. “So I ran after him and stopped his truck. I took the keys and he got out and was wobbly and he fell on the floor and he smell of a strong odor of alcohol.”
Garcia said, “It could have been a lot worse. My young daughter landed a foot away from his truck. Thank God they weren’t hurt worse. Everyone has to pay the price. It doesn’t matter who you are. Even if you are a police officer, you have to pay the price.”
D’Oench stopped at the officer’s home for comment but no one came to the front door when he knocked.