Police arrest man who tried running over officers several times

Hialeah police officers arrest serial getaway driver

Mario Echemendia is accused of trying to run over police officers.
Mario Echemendia is accused of trying to run over police officers.

HIALEAH, Fla. – Hialeah Police Department officers said Mario Echemendia developed a reputation for reckless driving. His license was revoked in 2017, but officers said that didn't stop him from becoming a serial getaway driver. 

Detective Jose Torres said Echemendia's latest escapades on Nov. 9, Dec. 31 and March 1 risked the lives of police officers and other drivers. In November, an officer saw him trying to drive off the road to pass other cars at a red light at Northwest 37th Avenue and Northwest 62nd Street.

When the officer noticed the Florida tag on the four-door white Cadillac that Echemendia was driving belonged to a white Chevy van, he turned on his emergency lights. Echemendia stopped, and he waited for the officer to approach his door. The officer recognized him.

Echemendia "immediately put the vehicle in drive and accelerated the car and began fleeing northbound on Northwest 37th Street," the officer wrote in the report. "I observed him driving onto oncoming traffic."

The officers lost the 51-year-old fugitive during the three incidents, which involved two cars and a motorcycle. He didn't have a chance to drive away when a detective arrested him Friday morning at a relative's home near the Hialeah Park Racing & Casino.

In December, Echemendia was driving an orange Polaris Slingshot motorcycle eastbound on West 49th Street when he crashed into a white Toyota Camry at 14th Lane, police said. The officer who witnessed the crash recognized him and tried to arrest him. 

Echemendia "placed the vehicle in reverse attempting to ram" the officer, who had to leap back to avoid getting hit, according to the police report. 

The officers stopped chasing him when it became too risky. 

A week ago, an officer who was driving an unmarked Dodge Charger noticed a silver Nissa Murano was parked in front of a closed bank. The officer walked up to the car and recognized Echevarria.

Echemendia reversed the car, tried to run over the police officer, crashed into the unmarked police car and fled eastbound on West 18th Street at Fourth Avenue, according to the police report. The officer chased him, but  Echemendia "drove away at a high rate of speed, drove over the sidewalk, swerved in and out of traffic and ran steady red lights," according to the police report. 

About a week after he got away, a detective saw him at a relative's home and arrested him without incident. Echemendia faces three counts of fleeing and eluding police, two counts of resisting officer with violence to his person, two counts of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and one count of criminal mischief. 

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