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Officer pulled over by FHP takes plea deal

Lopez pleads no contest to reckless driving

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FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – The Miami police officer who was caught driving in excess of 120 mph on Florida's Turnpike by a Florida Highway Patrol trooper last October and faced criminal charges has taken a plea deal. 

Fausto Lopez entered a plea of no contest to reckless driving, a misdemeanor punishable by up to 90 days in jail. In exchange for his plea, he was fined $3,300 and ordered to serve 100 hours of community service, but he will not have to serve any jail time or probation. 

With his wife and family members at his side, Lopez, who was dressed in a navy blue pinstriped suit, white shirt and paisley tie, did not say a word. 

Inside the courtroom, members of the Florida Highway Patrol gathered in support of their colleague, Trooper Donna Watts. 

Watts pulled over Lopez about 6:30 a.m. Oct. 11 after he was allegedly speeding. She said she clocked at more than 120 mph on the Turnpike. At the time, he was in a marked Miami police cruiser on his way to an off-duty job. 

The trooper activated her emergency lights and attempted to pull over the car, but she claimed Lopez sped ahead, weaving in and out of traffic. 

When Watts was finally able to pull over the car, she got out and approached the cruiser with her gun drawn and noticed that the driver was a city of Miami police officer in full uniform. The officer, who later identified himself as Lopez, told the trooper that he was on the way to an off-duty detail and was running late. The entire pursuit was captured on the trooper's dashboard camera.