Officers to be terminated after ATV accident
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) -- City officials are in the process of terminating two South Florida officers after one crashed his ATV and injured several people.
Miami Beach Mayor Matti Bower announced Tuesday that the officer who crashed his ATV on South Beach, along with his partner, will be terminated. "We do not tolerate, in Miami Beach, something like that happening," said Bower.
The police department has confirmed that Officers Derick Kuilan and Rolando Gutierrez were at the Clevelander on South Beach before the ATV accident Sunday.
Bower said there is photographic proof that both Kuilan and Gutierrez were at the hotel during work hours. "They were in a place where they were not supposed to be during working hours," she said.
According to police, Kuilan left the Clevelander and took a woman for a ride on his ATV, when it eventually crashed and injured the woman, as well as beach goers Kitzie Nicanor and Luis Almonte.
Almonte is recovering at Mount Sinai Medical Center from several broken bones. Nicanor was rushed to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where she continues to recover. "If you are going to have a job where you're supposed to take care of the people, you should be more responsible," said Almonte.
A cell phone video posted on a blog showed the ATV in the water after the crash occurred.
Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega said a criminal investigation is underway for Kuilan. "Hopefully, this sends a message to the entire organization and certainly to the residents and our visitors that we expect the best of our personnel, and we won't tolerate nothing less," said Noriega.
Mayor Bower said she wants residents to feel safe in the City of Miami Beach. "I want the residents to feel that we take action when action is needed," she said.
According to the department, the termination process could take several days, and the officer accused may try to appeal the decision.
Results from Kuilan's toxicology reports are expected to be released later this week.
(Copyright 2011 by Sunbeam Television Corp. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)