Retired cop charged in hit-and-run bonds out

Juan 'Johnny' Herrera charged with 5 counts of leaving the scene of accident

By Christina Vazquez - Reporter

MIAMI - A lieutenant who retired from Miami Police Department's homicide unit bonded out of jail after he turned himself in to police on charges related to a hit-and-run crash.

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Juan "Johnny" Herrera hit a taxi on Interstate 95 at Southwest 25th Street about 4 a.m. on Sept. 8, 2012.

The five people inside the cab, including driver Vital Jean-Marie and University of Miami students Jordan Cunningham, Bianca Vanrell, Robert Purcell, and Madeline Davidoff, suffered various injuries, say police.

Herrera then abandoned his Mercedes Benz and left the crash scene, said FHP.

According to an arrest affidavit, broken beer bottles were found on the floor of the Mercedes along with Herrera's business card.

A search warrant was issued to gather DNA evidence, phone records, and the Mercedes' black box, said FHP. A DNA oral swap was collected from Herrera and it matched the DNA on the deployed side air bag.

An arrest warrant for Herrera was then issued, said FHP.

Herrera is charged with five counts of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries and one count of property damage.

"Obviously, he regrets the fact he was arrested. He regrets being linked to this incident. He looks forward to the day when he can put it behind him," said Sam Rabin, Herrera's attorney. "We are going to evaluate the evidence in the case and respond appropriately once we've reviewed the evidence."

Herrera posted bond Wednesday afternoon. He offered no comment as he left jail.

WATCH: Herrera leaves jail

Herrera worked in the Miami Police Department for 22 years. He retired three months after the crash.

"He did a lot of good. He got a lot of bad people off the street and I would hope that people don't judge his entire career by this one incident," said Rabin.

If convicted, Herrera faces up to 26 years in prison.

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