MIAMI BEACH (CBS4) – Three people were hospitalized after they were involved in an accident with a Miami Beach officer who reportedly took a department ATV for a joyride with a female passenger while he was on duty. The officer was relieved of duty pending an investigation

Police spokeswoman Officer Deborah Doty said the accident happened just after 5 a.m. Sunday morning on the beach near 4th Street.

Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega told CBS4 news partner the Miami Herald the officer was supposed to be patrolling the beach because of a number of recent thefts.

“I was told he lost control and struck a couple people on the beach,” he said.

Two of the injured, a man and a woman, were taken to Mt Sinai Medical Center; the third person, another woman, was rushed to the Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital.

Doty said by early Sunday afternoon the woman taken to Mt. Sinai was released from the hospital, the other two were still being treated Sunday.

Police have not released the name of the officer involved or the names of the victims.

Miami Beach Mayor Mattie Bower was outraged by the news.

“It is terrible. It is terrible,” she said. “It is not supposed to happen. This is not what the police is all about. This is not what they are supposed to be doing. They are supposed to be taking care of us drinking or not the other policeman was supposed to be in North Beach.”

Bower said the officer abandoned his post on the beach to have a drink at the Clevelander while he was on duty. That’s where she said he met a woman and took her on the ATV ride along the beach, ultimately crashing into a couple.

Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega declined to speak with CBS 4 News but later released a statement.

“On my orders the officer was immediately relieved of duty pending the results of the various investigations,” said Noriega in his statement.

“Should the investigations determine that the officer involved in this accident failed to follow existing policies and /or procedures then I will take swift and firm action. The safety and well being of our residents and visitors is the Miami Beach Police Department’s primary mission.”

Some tourists and locals found walking along the beach after dark were appalled by case.

“It’s terrible. There should be an investigation obviously,” said Pam Pester, a tourist.

Grace Cabezas lives on Miami Beach and said she will be more careful walking out there after dark.

“That is disgraceful, horrible, a police officer is supposed to take care of us and protect us,” said Cabezas. “We’re not supposed to worry about police officers drinking on the job, that’s crazy.”

(©2011 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved.  This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Comments (7)
  1. Jimbo99 says:

    I’d have to have read it to have believed it ?

  2. Robert says:

    Nah… they will probably find that he was NOT drinking and the woman that was with him just happened to have jumped on in back of him and THAT is what made him loose control. So… it’s the woman’s fault, wait and see… they always get cleared of any wrong doing!!!

  3. Willie Colon says:

    Sue the city, the guy, the girl and took all the money you can. The cops are always running ATV there just a highway I know I seen them all the time.

  4. FYI says:

    This is not the only incident where an ATV injured people. If I recall correctly that incident occurred earlier this year and someone recorded it. Now I don’t remember who was at fault in that one.

  5. South Beach Guy says:

    Sad to hear this. The office was at fault and will lose his job I’m sure. However, the beach is closed to public after dark and they shouldnt have been there either. Signs are clearley posted about it closing at sundown. Either way, the officer was way out of line.

  6. what'samatteryou says:

    Let those cops among us who have never stopped at a bar, had a couple of drinks while on duty and picked up a hot babe, hopped on a ATV and run over three people on the beach cast the first stone.

  7. michael wind says:

    he was mad that they closed b-girls club,was getting a nice wig for the protection of russian mafia and there was no urban people to shoot so he run some people over,thats corrupt miami beach,time to clean up everyone in local government..