Florida Keys sheriff’s deputies arrested an off-duty Miami-Dade County police officer who they say was speeding and swerving in different lanes on U.S. 1 early Sunday morning.
The officer was charged with driving while intoxicated in addition to fleeing and eluding.
Donovan William Rojas, 26, was driving his unmarked Miami-Dade County-issued Chrysler 300 at speeds of more than 110 mph around 3:57 a.m. for about three miles before he stopped for several pursuing Monroe County deputies in Key Largo, according to the sheriff’s office.
Rojas had trouble maintaining his lane along U.S. 1 before finally pulling over at mile marker 105, said sheriff’s office spokesman Adam Linhardt.
“The driver, Rojas, identified himself as a member of the Miami-Dade Police Department and the Chrysler as his unmarked agency vehicle,” Linhardt said in a statement. “Once Rojas’ vehicle was stopped, deputies observed emergency lights activated on the visor of the Chrysler. The emergency lights were only visible from the windshield of the unmarked vehicle. Deputies did not see the emergency lights during the pursuit.”
Deputy Casey Matthews wrote in a police report released Monday that when Rojas exited his car, he exclaimed, “I’m a cop. I’m a Miami-Dade cop!”
According to the report, Rojas had an “overpowering odor” of alcohol, difficulty standing and slurred speech. He also refused to perform field sobriety exercises and to blow for an alcohol breath test.
Rojas was booked into county jail at 5:24 a.m. and released shortly before noon. His first scheduled court date is June 28.
Deputies found two Glock handguns, a Miami-Dade police ID and badge and a police-department-issued body-worn camera inside the car, according to the arrest report. Monroe County Sheriff Rick Ramsay thanked his deputies for “acting quickly in this case.”
“Though this suspect’s behavior put his life, innocent civilian lives, and the lives of my officers in danger, I view this as a singular case and not indicative of the Miami-Dade Police Department as a whole,” he said Sunday in a statement.
Rojas, who has worked with Miami-Dade police since 2016, has been relieved of his duties without pay, Interim Director George A. Perez said in a statement.
“Any suspect that puts the community’s lives and officers’ lives at risk is unacceptable!” he said. “The MDPD will not tolerate this behavior as it is not aligned with our commitment to the community and its sacred trust.”