Opa-locka police corporal fired for fatal crash
Cpl. Sergio Perez accused of pursuing suspect driving on wrong side of I-95
OPA-LOCKA, Fla. – Opa-locka Police Cpl. Sergio Perez has been terminated from the police department in connection to an April 3, 2013, fatal crash, a representative with the police department said.
According to the arrest affidavit for Willie Dumel, 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 indicates 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 the northbound ramp for Interstate 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.
The crash killed the four people inside a van. The deceased 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.
Opa-locka police were investigating whether Perez pursued Dumel the wrong way on I-95 after he allegedly fled from the traffic stop.
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 after the crash.
Meanwhile, Dumel was charged with driving with a suspended license, arson and four counts of vehicular homicide.
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