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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 8/19/2005 3:26:55 PM EDT
Officer Under Investigation After Shooting At Moving Car


POSTED: 5:26 p.m. EDT August 19, 2005
UPDATED: 5:30 p.m. EDT August 19, 2005


Story by wftv.com

GROVELAND, Fla. -- A Groveland police officer is under investigation after he opened fire on a moving car along a busy highway. The officer pulled a car over on State Road 50 near Oak Street. When the driver tried to get away, the officer shot at him. That started a pursuit that went into a nearby neighborhood.

Highway 50 is, by far, the busiest road in Groveland and the traffic stop was right in the median, in between four lanes of traffic. The officer said the driver started to leave and that's when he opened fire.

"Innocent people could have gotten hurt," said Tina, the suspect's fiance.

Tina says Miguel Torres should have pulled over, even though he had a suspended license. But, she said, what happened instead was completely unnecessary.

"I don't think the situation was that drastic to be taken in the sense that you need a gun, or shooting the car,"
she said.

With his holster empty, Groveland officer Marcio Cardoso answered questions about why he shot at the moving vehicle. His gun is now evidence.

"The main thing is everybody's okay, nobody was hit and as far as who, what or why, we'll turn that over to Lake County Sheriff's Office and they'll do their investigation," said Lt. Rocky Barr, Groveland Police Department.

It started as a traffic stop because an officer couldn't read the registration year on the back of Torres' car. After a low-speed chase, they stopped on Highway 50. Police said Torres turned the car in their direction.

"The officer shot after he felt threatened along with other officers," said Lt. Todd Luce, Lake County Sheriff's Office.

The bullet hit the rim of one of the tires and Torres headed for home.

"Yeah, he was wrong, but he was just bringing the car back home cause I need to get back and forth to work," Tina explained.

When he got to their house in Crane's Landing, Torres got on the ground with his hands up and officers arrested him. The question now is, was the earlier use of deadly force justified?

"If he's a hazard to anybody else, we would rather stop his vehicle than him stopping somebody else," said Barr.

Groveland's policy says "shooting at or from a moving vehicle is a dangerous and generally ineffective practice which shall be avoided in all instances ... Except those which do not endanger innocent persons and are justified by unusual or mitigating circumstances."

That will now be up to the Lake County Sheriff's Office to decide. The officer is on administrative leave during the investigation.

Torres is in jail facing five different charges.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:33:08 PM EDT
Repeat after me

"sidearms are not stopsticks. sidearms are not stopsticks."

lucky this could have turned out WAY worse than it did.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:34:27 PM EDT
Just ended his career.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:37:06 PM EDT
I bet he owns a carwash.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:44:01 PM EDT
What an idiot.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 3:48:11 PM EDT
What I read suggests that the perp turned around and had the vehicle aimed in the direction of the cops. Not the usual behavior of a traffic stop driver. Need more info.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:29:56 PM EDT
Turns car around and faces off the cops with it = Not too smart.

Taking the cops gun is standard practice in a shooting, but the paper makes it sound like it's never done.

Bet his bosses had him a replacement before he left the scene.

Jay

Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:35:30 PM EDT
Probably a pretty big shitbag that was driving..... I have a hard time second guessing them on these. An asshole going balls out to get away can be a grave hazard to the public and other drivers, but so can shooting at a moving target with a handgun.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:40:05 PM EDT
Sounds like he was going for the tires. I don't have a problem with that.
Link Posted: 8/19/2005 4:58:53 PM EDT
I'm just mad the cop didn't kill the driver and/or destroy the perp's car!
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