Three Doral Policers Officers were recognized with the highest honors at the South Florida Police Benevolent Association’s (SFPBA) 2022 Law Enforcement Awards Gala. Officers Johnny Beautelus, Daniel Vilarchao and Raffaello Cervera were all named “Officers of the Year” for their heroic actions during an incident that occurred on October 22, 2021, involving a vehicle pursuit and gun battle.
The violent situation began at a business in the City of Sweetwater with an aggressive confrontation between a supervisor and employee, in which the armed employee made threats and attacked the supervisor. The incident escalated as a customer at the location fled in fear from the business and the employee proceeded to recklessly chase him into the City of Doral during a busy morning, firing his weapon from his vehicle. The subject eventually lost control of his car and crashed into a tree at which point he engaged with the responding Doral officers firing several rounds at Doral Police Officers and into the front windshield of one of the police vehicles while the officer was still inside. Eventually, the officers were able to incapacitate the subject before any of the other responding officers and nearby civilians were injured.
“We could not be prouder of our police officers and their unwavering devotion to the safety of this community,” said Mayor Juan Carlos Bermudez. “The extraordinary display of bravery by these young officers is a testament to the caliber of training and resources allocated to preserve our city’s public safety.”
Officer Beautelus has been with the Doral Police Department for six years and is currently assigned to the Training Section where his duties include the training of new police officers. Officer Beautelus sustained a gunshot wound to the left arm, requiring surgery.
Officer Vilarchao has been with the Doral Police Department for three years and is currently assigned to Road Patrol. Officer Vilarchao sustained facial injuries from one of the rounds fired by the subject, requiring surgery. At the time of the incident, Officer Vilarchao had only been a police officer for approximately six months.
Officer Cervera has been with the Doral Police Department for 9 months and is currently assigned to Road Patrol.
The SFPBA is a proactive union of professionals and past law enforcement officers working to protect the rights of police officers and community officials throughout South Florida. Since incorporating in December 1963, it has continued to actively fight for, and attain, the rights of all members. For the past 50 years, SFLPBA has worked to promote professionalism among law enforcement officers and establish a positive identity in South Florida and beyond.