Carjacking arrest leads to honors for officers

By Richard Yager….

Pictured (l-r): New district commander Maj. Joseph O’Donnell awards citations for service to Kendall District Police Officers Josue Guerra and Michael Garcia. Also pictured is CAC chair Barry White.

A high-speed chase clocked at 100 miles per hour on Florida’s Turnpike led to the arrest of a stolen car’s driver and two companions, resulting in service citations for two Miami-Dade Police Kendall District officers on Dec. 8.

Honored for their teamwork in apprehending the escaping driver were Officers Josue Guerra and Michael Garcia, nominated by Maj. Joseph J. O’Donnell, who was joined by Citizens Advisory Committee (CAC) chair Barry White to present the awards.

O’Donnell noted that Guerra, while on routine patrol in Richmond Heights, spotted a green Oldsmobile with a trio matching a radioed transcription of an area car theft on July 20.

An attempt to stop the vehicle led to a high-speed chase north to the SW 117th Avenue entrance to Florida’s Turnpike where the driver accelerated to speeds up to 100 mph with an Aviation Unit joining the pursuit at SW 120th Street.

Exiting at SW Eighth Street and traveling east, the driver continued a reckless pace until losing control and hitting a second vehicle at SW 37th Avenue. All occupants were taken into custody at the accident scene.

Positively identified and arrested for armed carjacking, the driver was later discovered to have an extensive criminal record including armed robbery charges and cocaine possession in addition to grand theft auto while and fleeing and eluding police.

Along with Sgt. Diego Gomez and Officer Justin Anglin, Guerra and Garcia were named co-officers for October 2010 for their performance, dedication and protective service in law enforcement.

At the meeting’s conclusion, White again was named to chair the Kendall District CAC with Michael Howe, resident of the Amaretto community, acting as co-chair.

The next session will take place at 7:30 p.m., Wednesday, Jan. 26, at Kendall District headquarters, 7707 SW 117 Ave., with the public welcome.

For information, call 305-279-6929.

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