MIAMI - Police on Tuesday arrested a robbery suspect who has 32 felony arrests since 1984.
Police charged 47-year-old Leonardo Lopez with fleeing/eluding police. He was released from jail in October, and from state prison in 2012 following a seven year sentence.
"Any time you have anyone that goes to jail as many times as we have here and hasn't learned their lesson... it appears that the system doesn't work," said Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa. "You cannot get rehabilitated and you come back out and you're even more violent than before."
Officers began following Lopez on Tuesday afternoon after receiving a tip about his whereabouts. He crashed his SUV at Northwest 26th Avenue and 3rd Street and was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital for treatment.
Lopez was wanted in at least seven recent robberies, including one at a Valero gas station in which the clerk was beaten with a crowbar.
"He kept hitting me and hitting me and hitting me," said clerk Arif Chowdhury.
Chowdhury said Lopez walked into the gas station wearing a bandana.
"I asked him if he wants some medicine because I thought he had a cold and he said no," recalled Chowdhury. "He just stood up, came behind the counter, and started hitting me."
Chowdhury fought back.
"When I grabbed his private parts and squeezed so hard he leaves me, so I get up from the floor and run outside," he said.
The FBI will investigate the robbery cases involving Lopez, said Miami police officials.
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