said the victim Yahaira Montalvo said, holding back and then breaking into tears, “I just want to get better, right now, and at least that no one goes through what I go through.”
Officer Chris Bonner conducted the high-speed chase, which injured 26-year-old Walmart employee Yahaira Castro Montalvo on her way to work.
It was 5am.
The Florida cop on Bonner’s wing, rightly obeyed the traffic signal, and avoided smashing into Montalvo.
But Officer Bonner kept his pedal to the metal
He broke both of Montalvo’s arms in the process.
And the bad guy got away too.
Central Florida’s Ocoee Police Department stated that the 29 year-old Officer Bonner was on paid leave, pending the outcome of their internal investigation, while the victim’s lawyer stated that high speed pursuit isn’t allowed under departmental guidelines for the suburban city which is just northwest of tourist mecca Orlando.
We are reaching out to the Ocoee Police Department to obtain their pursuit policy.
Florida lawyer Warren Redlich stated it would be difficult to charge the officer with “reckless endangerment,” however the charge of reckless driving, which is elevated to a 3rd degree felony with serious injury could be easily proven by prosecutors.
Two Ocoee police cruisers are seen in the video, approaching an intersection, the 29-year-old Officer Bonner’s vehicle does not slow down while the other comes to a nearly complete stop.
Officer Bonner saw Montalvo’s vehicle at the last moment and begins to steer away, without attempting to brake.
It was too late.
While the Ocoee Police Department stated that at the time, officers were in pursuit of an armed robbery suspect, the video released depicts no other vehicles traveling in the same direction.
The suspects in the chase were thought to be driving a stolen vehicle involved in an armed robbery earlier that evening, having robbed an armed man of his money and his weapon in the nearby suburb of Altamonte Springs.
It was determined that Officer Bonner was traveling at more than 90 MPH on the city streets and failed to yield to Montalvo who had the green light.
Calculations used to determine Bonner’s speed are usually very conservative and do not reflect the variations the equations produces of 5-10 MPH as speeds increase.
Officer Bonner would have traveled over nearly 400 ft in 3 seconds at 90 MPH, leaving Montalvo no time to react after seeing a vehicle rapidly approaching, which she claims not to have seen at all after noting the first officer stopped at the light.
Pursuit policies throughout Florida were revised after several infamous high profile chases, in which suspects were thought to have committed petty crimes.
Yahaira Montalvo’s injuries consist of two broken arms and multiple fractures, and her lawyer Brian Crews has already filed a notice of claim with the city for an intent to sue.
Now taxpayers will pay the price for this Florida cop’s bad decisions.