2nd lawsuit filed by victim run over by Beach officer’s ATV
(THE MIAMI HERALD) The second person run over by a Miami Beach cop riding an ATV last year has filed a lawsuit against the former officer and the city.
Luis Almonte, who fractured his leg in the July 2011 accident, says he suffered “disability, disfigurement, mental anguish” as well as a “loss of earnings,” according to a complaint filed in Miami-Dade Circuit Court.
His friend, Kitzie Nicanor, is already suing the city and the South Beach hotel involved in the case.
The officer, Derick Kuilan, had taken a bachelorette for a ride on his department ATV after meeting her and her friends at the Clevelander Hotel.
Kuilan and another officer, Rolando Gutierrez, posed for a now-infamous photo with the party goers.
In the pitch dark, they drove south, alternating speeds, occasionally turning on headlights when pedestrians were near. As they neared the end of the beach, the two turned around and drove back north, the vehicle’s lights still off, according to prosecutors.
At the time, Kitzie Nicanor and Almonte were on the beach, dipping their feet in the water, when the ATV plowed into them.
Nicanor – in town from Seattle for a family reunion – suffered a broken femur and had to have her spleen removed.
Almonte suffered a fractured leg and has already endured one operation, said his attorney, Tony Mesa III.
“He has completed physical therapy but he may have to have a second surgery,” Mesa said.
Miami Beach police quickly fired Kuilan and the other officer, and demoted several other supervisors on duty that night. The city failed to “adequately train, instruct and supervise” Kuilan, the lawsuit says.
Kuilan is awaiting trial on charges of driving under the influence and reckless driving with serious bodily injury.
Prosecutors say his blood alcohol level measured .088, above the legal limit, nearly five hours after the accident.
Almonte’s lawsuit does not name the Clevelander, which has denied it served alcohol to any of the officers that night.
Mesa said that so far, there is no evidence to sue the Clevelander and it is unclear where the officers drank that night.