Trust the Miami Herald at your own peril, at least when it comes to the Miami Beach cop whose ATV critically injured two beachgoers while he was joyriding on duty with a lady friend two weeks ago.
In last Friday's edition, the Herald reported that Derick Kuilan, the 30-year-old at the wheel of the ATV, had a "mostly clean record," specifically noting he had helped save children from a burning building a couple of years ago.
Which leaves us to ask: Which internal affairs file was the paper of record looking at? Because the one reviewed by New Times includes a half-dozen noteworthy incidents of violence involving suspects and one full IA investigation.
Kuilan, hired in May 2005 to patrol South Beach, had his most serious run-in with IA investigators two years after joining the force.
On July 10, 2007, he and another officer arrested a Fort Lauderdale man named Terrance Payne, who was allegedly blocking traffic by walking on Collins Avenue while listening to an iPod. Payne told investigators that when he was handcuffed in the back of a cruiser and asked Kuilan why he was being arrested, the cop punched him in the face.
IA investigators ruled Payne's complaint unsubstantiated because he had waited three days to report the incident and had no visible injuries. Kuilan denied the charges.
The Beach cop injured suspects four other times while he was on duty, according to his file:
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- On July 1, 2006, he "slammed down" a suspect named Marcos Rivera, who allegedly "charged him" during an arrest, lacerating Rivera's face on the concrete.
- A man named Ronald Williams supposedly took a swing at Kuilan during a drug arrest, so the cop punched him in the face and threw him against a window, which cracked.
- Near 18th Street and Collins Avenue on July 5, 2009, Kuilan performed a "leg sweep" to bring down a suspect named Derek Shaffer, who was allegedly harassing hotel staff.
- On December 15, 2010, Kuilan pepper-sprayed a suspect named Vanoche Siriac, who was allegedly resisting arrest.
- Kuilan was also officially reprimanded last October for missing two court dates without valid reasons.
The officer, who last year made $91,032.58 in salary and overtime, was fired when officials confirmed he had picked up a woman at the Clevelander and was riding with her when he ran over two beachgoers just after 5 a.m. July 3.
No criminal charges have been filed yet.