A police department in Florida has released dramatic footage of one of its officers getting dragged by a fleeing car, then tumbling to the ground after he responded to an emergency call reporting that two people were unconscious in a car.
Around 8:30 a.m. on Dec. 19, someone alerted security in the Century Village complex apartment of Pembroke Pines, Florida, after they saw a man and a woman asleep or unconscious in of a parked car in the apartment complex.
A clear baggie with an unknown substance could be seen inside of the vehicle, Pembroke Pines police said, and the individuals were non-responsive.
Fearing a possible overdose, security at the complex alerted police.
When the Pemroke Pines Police officer Jon Cusack arrived at the scene, he opened the door of the vehicle to check on the pair, who remained unresponsive.
After Cusack woke the man who put the car into drive while the officer was still standing there. The man was later identified as Thomas Cabrera.
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Cusack reached into the vehicle to prevent Cabrera from leaving, fearing he was in an altered state and would be a danger to others.
Cabrera sped off, dragging Cusack, who was clinging to the vehicle to avoid being run over, for over half a mile.
Meanwhile, the Pembroke Pines Fire Rescue responded to the initial overdose call.
As the Fire Rescue vehicle approached, police said Cabrera intentionally changed his direction to hit the truck and dislodge Cusack, but the Fire Rescue swerved so Cabrera didn’t hit them.
Cabrera finally slowed down as he approached the Century Village exit, located at 129 Avenue and Pembroke Road, and Cusack took the opportunity to fall away, tucking and rolling away from the vehicle’s tires.
He had serious but not life-threatening injuries, and was attended to at the scene, then transported to Memorial Regional Hospital.
Cabrera continued on and left the Century Village complex with police in pursuit. He got on to I-75 then onto eastbound I-595, as other police departments joined in the chase.
As Cabrera approached the area of State Route 7, he ran into traffic and was forced to stop. Cabrera surrendered, and police were able to take him and the female passenger in the car into custody.
According to a police report, after being read his rights, Cabrera told a detective he tried to flee because he didn’t want to go to jail. He said that he and his fiancée were doing heroin and cocaine in the car before the officer woke him up, the Miami Herald stated.
Cabrera was charged with the attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, reckless driving, and driving while his license was suspended.
The female suspect has not yet been identified and it’s unclear whether she will face charges, ABC’s 10 News reported.
Cusack suffered severe road rash, reported 10 News, and his uniform and shoes were shredded from being dragged along the roadway, a detective wrote in the police incident report, according to the Herald.
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Cusack was released from the hospital the next day, reported News 10, and planned to go to Disney World on the weekend with his family.