MIAMI (CBSMiami) – The Florida Highway Patrol released dashcam video footage of a motorist who intentionally struck an FHP cruiser, then led the trooper on a high-speed chase in Miami-Dade.
FHP said the suspect, who was eventually apprehended, intentionally struck a patrol car on the Florida Turnpike, as trooper Vanessa Franceschi was conducting a traffic stop in Miami-Dade in April.
The suspect then fled through traffic, and Franceschi pursued and eventually maneuvered her vehicle to stop the suspect’s vehicle. The maneuver is called a Pursuit Intervention Technique (PIT), video footage shows the trooper safely pushing the suspect’s vehicle into a wall.
“The officer acted in a brave and heroic manner,” said Florida Highway Patrol Trooper Joe Sanchez. “She did exactly what she was trained to do, followed the policies and guidelines of the department and followed the vehicle. Through the assistance of other departments, we were able to make the traffic stop and arrest this individual.”
“That she was targeted because she is a law enforcement officer is outrageous and we must continue to support our brave heroes by letting them know malicious attacks against law enforcement will not be tolerated in our communities,” Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes said.
“I am grateful that Trooper Franceschi was not seriously injured and was able to act immediately to ensure the suspect was stopped from committing any additional crimes against law enforcement and the public,” said Colonel Gene S. Spaulding, Director of the Florida Highway Patrol.
Authorities said Franceschi sustained minor injuries during the crash, but that no one else was injured.
The suspect is facing serious charges, including ‘Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Felony Fleeing and Eluding and Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injuries.’