Former Miami Beach Police Officer Charged For Running Over 2 People With ATV While Drunk On Duty
(WSVN) A former Miami Beach Police officer accused of causing an ATV accident with injuries on the beach has turned himself in.
Derek Kuilan was charged with two counts of DUI with serious bodily injuries and two counts of reckless driving, Tuesday morning. He was booked at the Dade County Jail just before 11 a.m. and left the jail before a swarm of media without commenting.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle spoke Monday about the case, during its investigative phase. “The overwhelming majority of men and women in law enforcement are hard-working, up-standing individuals that understand the power that they have, and they respect their badge, and they respect their position as law enforcement, but it’s just like any other profession, you’re always going to have a few that don’t live up to the standard.”
Two victims were hospitalized after a police-issued ATV struck them as they were out to watch the sunrise, on July 3, on Miami Beach. Prosecutors believe Kuilan got on the ATV with a woman he had met at a nearby hotel bar while on duty and in uniform. She was also injured but was not hospitalized and has since returned to her Pennsylvania home.
Meanwhile, one of the victims who was run over, 28-year-old Kitzie Nicanor, remains in the hospital after she suffered severe internal injuries. She is the mother of a 1-year-old child. Her friend, Luis Almonte, suffered several broken bones.
Fernandez Rundle emphasized the full extent of the law will be applied in this case. She said, “If you violate the law, and we have evidence to show it, then we file charges, and we hold people accountable.”
Prosecutors and Miami Beach officials held a news conference later that day where Police Chief Carlos Noriega detailed Kuilan’s brazen behavior leading up to the accident. “5 o’clock in the morning, inside a nightclub, which is a violation to begin with, having drinks and doing what they did, it is mind-boggling that they felt comfortable enough to do something like that,” he said. “It’s a fleeting act of stupidity. It was reckless, and, in the end, it tarnished our public trust.”
The state attorney’s office provided a photograph of Kuilan at the Clevelander Hotel bar (he’s pictured at far right) taken 20 minutes before the accident on the beach. Kuilan is seen standing directly behind Adalee Martin, the woman who went on the ATV ride with him.
Rolando Gutierrez is the other officer in the picture. He too was fired from the Miami Beach Police force and remains under investigation.
According to prosecutors, Kuilan’s blood was drawn five hours after the accident for toxicology testing, and he was still over legal limit. “At 10:30 a.m. Officer Kuilan’s blood was drawn by fire rescue personnel,” Fernandez Rundle said. “An analysis of that blood taken– and again I point out that’s five to five and half hours later after the incident– revealed a blood alcohol concentration higher than what I know all you know what to be the legal limit.”
There is now an investigation into why it took so long to draw his blood at the scene, prosecutors said.
The MBPD has been under great scrutiny lately. A Memorial Day shooting that left a man dead remains under investigation. Two other officers are also on their way to being fired for falsely arresting a gay tourist.