Allegedly Drunk, Joyriding Miami Beach Cop on ATV Runs Over Beachgoers

​Three people are recovering in local hospitals this afternoon, and police are looking into whether an on-duty Miami Beach cop put them there by getting blitzed at the Clevelander, picking up a girl, and then joyriding on an ATV early this morning.

Miami Beach Police Chief Carlos Noriega says investigators are awaiting toxicology reports to determine if the officer was drunk when he ran over two beachgoers around 5 a.m. Mayor Matti Herrera Bower told the Miami Herald she's furious over the allegation: "I'm very upset about it. This is not something that should have happened. They're supposed to be protecting the beach, not drinking."

The allegations are the latest in a rough month for the department -- a force that a New Times investigation last year found rampant with disciplinary problems and highly paid officers.

The Miami Beach PD made national headlines during Memorial Day's Urban Beach Week over a spate of shootings and allegations that officers destroyed phones and cameras wielded by bystanders.

The latest incident happened at 5:15 a.m. near Fourth Street on the beach, the Herald reports. An officer on an ATV ran over at least two people, sending two women and one man to local hospitals.

Noriega, who declined to release the officer's name, says investigators are looking into allegations that the cop had been drinking with another officer while on duty and then picked up a woman at the Clevelander before the accident.

"We have not been able to prove that he, in fact, was drinking as of yet," Noriega said. "And if I could confirm that, I would fire him right now."

We'll update this post when we learn more about the incident.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink