Phone Frenzy

A Bay Harbor Islands cop takes speed dial to a whole new level

Instead Bay Harbor Islands Police Chief John Ross suspended Johnson without pay for the week of September 11-15. Ross, a 29-year veteran of the Miami Police Department, described the series of events as "unfortunate" but also defended Johnson. "I can only say he's a hands-on guy. I think he was trying to solve a problem."

Ross said he had chosen to keep Johnson on the force in light of his otherwise unblemished record. He suggested that docking Johnson's pay was a punishment harsher than any court would have meted out (the boy has not pressed charges). "If you think about it, he's been fined about $1500," Ross said.

Although the boy had been relatively cooperative with police during previous runaway attempts, according to Robertazzi, he no longer responded to the detective in the weeks after Johnson's calls. Police found the boy in Miami Beach shortly after the internal investigation wrapped up, according to Chief Ross, returning him to his parents and bringing the case to a close.

ISTOCKPHOTO

A few days later, the boy ran away again.

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