Police: Man falsely reported ATV stolen after striking officer’s vehicle in hit-and-run

Juan Daniel Lopez. (Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation)

HIALEAH GARDENS, Fla. – A man from Hialeah was arrested Monday on accusations that he falsely reported his ATV stolen after he struck a Hialeah Gardens police officer’s vehicle with it and then fled the scene.

According to his arrest report, the incident occurred Friday night in the area of 11601 W. Okeechobee Road.

Police said the Hialeah Gardens police officer was on patrol in the area when he spotted multiple ATVs driving recklessly inside the parking lot of a 7-Eleven.

The officer activated his emergency lights and ordered the ATV riders to vacate the parking lot via his public address system.

But police say the riders disobeyed the officer’s orders and continued to drive recklessly, doing doughnuts and speeding through the gas station as innocent bystanders were pumping fuel into their vehicles.

According to the report, the officer drove toward one ATV that was doing doughnuts at the entrance to the gas station and the driver, Juan Daniel Lopez, 26, crashed into the push bar and front left bumper of the police car. The ATV then got stuck on the push bar.

Police said Lopez jumped off the ATV as the officer tried to detain him. A struggle ensued and the officer attempted to tackle Lopez, but he was able to get away, authorities said.

Police said the officer shouted, “Stop! Taser, Taser, Taser!” but Lopez was able to hop on the back of another ATV and escape.

According to his arrest report, Lopez later reported his ATV, a red Yamaha Raptor 700 that he ditched at the scene, stolen, but the officer was able to identify him in a photo lineup as the ATV rider who struck his vehicle.

Lopez was taken into custody Monday on charges of aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer without violence and leaving the scene of a crash involving property damage.

Police said he invoked his right to remain silent at the police station and was transported to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

About the Author:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.