Driver fleeing traffic stop crashes into officer's patrol car, police say

Tommy Lazaga faces charges of reckless driving, grand theft auto

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MIAMI – A man driving a stolen car crashed into a police officer's patrol car early Wednesday in the Little Havana section of Miami, authorities said.

Tommy Lazaga, 22, of Hialeah, faces a number of charges including reckless driving and grand theft auto.

The crash happened along Southwest Second Street and Southwest 17th Avenue about 3:30 a.m.

Kenia Fallat, a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department, said officers attempted to stop Lazaga who was driving a Nissan Altima erratically, but Lazaga fled and turned off his lights.

Fallat said Lazaga crashed into the patrol cruiser of officer Alexander Mena who wasn't involved in the traffic stop. The crash did not appear to be intentional, Fallat said.

Police said officers later determined that Lazaga was driving his roommate's car without permission.

Mena and Lazaga were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center.

Fallat said Mena, a five-year veteran of the force, had a possible broken arm and Lazaga had minor injuries.

Mena's cruiser had severe front-end damage.