MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A Miami police officer was injured after he was struck by a driver reportedly under the influence.
Officer Mario Gonzalez, 39, was working off-duty on a construction site detail at NW 3rd Avenue and 14th Street when 33-year-old Belkis Salgado reportedly slammed into his unmarked police cruiser.
Gonzalez was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he was treated for an injury to his head and a broken shoulder blade. On Thursday afternoon, Miami police say he had been discharged.
The President of the Miami police union—-the Fraternal Order of Police—-told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that Gonzalez was a veteran of at least 10 years and was initially in serious condition at the hospital.
“At 3 a.m., he was working off duty, as a lot of us do, and he was parked with his overheads (lights) on when he was struck by this female,” said police Officer Mike Vega.
Police said Salgado’s speech was slurred, she had bloodshot eyes and alcohol on her breath. They added that she lost her balance and became combative during a roadside sobriety test.
“We did conduct a test on scene and then offered her a chance to do a breathalyzer which she refused,” said Vega.
“We don’t have the details on how fast she was going or how she was actually able to hit him on the side, but this shows that when people drink, they shouldn’t be driving. This time the officer came out okay, but it could have been anyone’s child out there that she could have hit,” he added.
Vega said “People have got to learn that if they have one or two drinks, they should use another means of transportation other than their own car to get to their destination because dinking and driving is not ok.”
Salgado was arrested and charged with DUI, DUI with bodily injury, and refusal to take a breath analyzer test after the crash. During her first court appearance, a judge set bond at $10,000, placed her under house arrest and said must submit to random drug and alcohol tests.
According to a police report, when an officer was taking Salgado to a restroom at the police department, Salgado laughed when she had had 2 beers and had refused two DUI tests in the past. Police said there was no record of that in Florida. Salgado said she refused two DUI tests while living in Virginia.
A check of records showed that Salgado had just been arrested once before for petit theft.
D’Oench stopped at the Salgado family home in Southwest MIami-Dade. Salgado’s unidentified cousin was the only one at the home and she said she did not want to comment.