MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A South Miami police officer, who along with a fellow officer, struck by a car is speaking out after the incident was captured on body cam video.
Officer Marvin Pierre, 22, spoke exclusively with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
Police said dash cam video captured fraud suspect Paula Johnson refusing to stop her Mercedes, hitting Pierre and 35-year-old Officer Junior Vigil with her car.
South Miami Police Chief Rene Landa is commending both officers for not firing their weapons, even though they could have because they were being threatened by someone driving a car at them.
“I felt it wasn’t necessary for me to use deadly force because at the end of the situation I felt she was not going to get away and we were going to catch her another day,” said Pierre.
Just hours after Pierre made that statement, the 27-year-old Johnson turned herself in at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Northwest Miami-Dade and she’s being held on a total of $21,000 bond.
She is charged with aggravated battery on two law enforcement officers, fleeing and eluding, resisting arrest without violence and using a fraudulent ID at a doctor’s office.
Police said Johnson and a companion were trying to use a fake ID to get a consultation about liposuction at ResultsMD Plastic Surgery.
Police were called when there were questions about a credit card and another employee noticed that Johnson had committed a fraud at the office two years ago, causing the office to lose $12,000.
Pierre watched the body cam video with D’Oench, saying, “It was a fraud call. I didn’t think somebody would start running. She took off from the second floor. I saw her get in to the car. I’m yelling at her to get out of her vehicle. I saw her with her hands up and I didn’t know what she was doing but she was trying to get away obviously.”
On the tape, you can hear the officers yelling, “Get out of the car. Get out of the car. Stop the car. Stop the car.”
“I saw this woman trying to leave the building,” said Pierre. “Most people will cooperate when they see guns. This chick was adamant about leaving. I just never thought I’d be going to a call like this and someone would start running. I had the option because she was trying to use her vehicle as a deadly weapon. But I just fell back to my training and my vocals before it got any further.
“Thank God that we have body cams, so I got the tag. And now I feel good. The best thing is that I didn’t have to do something that I didn’t need to do.”
Chief Landa added, “It’s one of the hardest decisions that a police officer will have to make, whether to use lethal force. It just involves a massive amount of restraint. Remember they have to make these decisions in the time frame of just one to two seconds on whether to use deadly force or not. It all comes back to the training.
“I commend both officers. They were incredible. I have look at this video again and again with the officers.”
Police said Johnson has been arrested before for charges including grand theft and throwing a deadly missile.
They said the woman who she was with at the doctor’s office, 25-year-old Alondrea Shakeyia Foster, was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of possession of marijuana.