OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - An Opa-locka Police department arrest affidavit details what led up to a fatal wrong way crash on Interstate 95 Wednesday morning.
Police arrested Willie Dumel Wednesday morning. He was charged with fleeing and eluding a law enforcement officer. Other charges against him are pending.
The chase and the crash
According to an arrest affidavit, Opa-locka Police Corporal Sergio Perez observed a black Chevrolet Suburban make an improper right turn from the center lane at Northwest 22nd Avenue and S.R. 9. A recording of police communications during the pursuit indicate Perez recognized Dumel or the vehicle in connection with a robbery.
When Perez activated his emergency lights and sirens, Dumel drove away, according to the affidavit. Dumel entered northbound I-95 at the Golden Glades Interchange, then exited westbound at Ives Dairy Road. He then entered the southbound exit ramp at Ives Dairy Road but was heading northbound.
Dumel hit a minivan head-on, killing the four people inside, according to the Florida Highway Patrol. Those four were identified as: Dennis Ryan Rinon Ortiz, 33, of California; Albertson Anthony Almase, 31, of Fort Lauderdale; Kristina Almase, 26, of Fort Lauderdale; and, Lily Marie Azarcon, 26, of the Philippines.
'We're going northbound in the southbound lanes'
Whether Perez followed Dumel onto I-95 in the wrong direction isn't indicated in the arrest affidavit.
"My understanding is the chase was broken off at the exit ramp of Ives Dairy Road," Opa-locka Assistant City Manager David Chiverton said Wednesday.
But a recording of police communications during the pursuit showed Perez may have still been pursing Dumel when he entered I-95 in the wrong direction.
"This guy is all over the road. Now he's going against traffic on I-95. We're going northbound in the southbound lanes," said Perez, according to the recording.
"Where's the civilian's vehicle?" asked a dispatcher.
"On the shoulder," answered Perez.
Perez then apprehended Dumel.
"The subject's here. I got him at gunpoint," said Perez.
According to the department's chase protocol, "Officers shall not operate their vehicle in a manner that causes them to go against the flow of traffic in an effort to maintain contact with the fleeing vehicle. Officers shall try to parallel the fleeing vehicle by going with the flow of traffic and keeping other units advised via radio."
Perez was put on administrative leave. The department denied Local 10's request for his personnel file.
Dumel broke his legs in the crash. He was taken to Memorial Regional Hospital, where he underwent surgery.
Dumel told officers his name was Paolo Lafrance.
"It is believed that the defendant gave that name in an attempt to conceal his true identity," stated the arrest affidavit. "Defendant's license is suspended and defendant has a possible warrant for probation violation."
What police found
Property receipts show police recovered a firearm and magazine that police said Dumel threw out of the car when he first exited Ives Dairy Road. The receipt indicates the gun was fake.
Officers also found a white powdery substance resembling cocaine in Dumel's pocket, according to a police report.
Mayor promises thorough investigation
"As a mother, a sister and a wife, my heart goes out to the family of those killed in that accident," Opa-locka Mayor Myra Taylor said in a statement Thursday. "We will do a thorough investigation on our end. No stone will be left unturned. There will be no cover up. We will get to the bottom of this."
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