Florida Highway Patrol Cop Arrested for Covering Up Miami Beach Hit-and-Run

On June 30, 2015, Miami dentist Jesus Enrique Del Valle's Ranger Rover hit a landscape worker on the road in Miami Beach, reportedly leaving the victim with permanent brain damage.

But police say Del Valle didn't stop to see if the worker was OK. Instead, he drove to a body shop owned by his girlfriend's cousin to hide the damage to his SUV, the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office says. Del Valle apparently couldn't cover the repairs in cash alone and needed an insurance quote, so he called Florida Highway Patrol Officer David Casillas to write a fake accident report.

But that report apparently wasn't convincing enough to fool local authorities, who earlier today arrested Casillas, Del Valle, and the body shop owner on fraud charges, according to the State Attorney's Office.

"In an effort to avoid prosecution for leaving the scene of an accident injury, it is alleged that a dentist, a former police officer, and a body shop owner all committed a variety of serious crimes," State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a release on the charges. "This community has seen too many tragedies where injured people suffer on the side of our roads. This must stop."

According to local investigators, Casillas' fake report said Del Valle collided with a palm tree seven days after the June 30 accident occurred.

According to a Miami Herald report, the victim — Yoel Montero of Lewis Tree Service — suffered permanent brain damage and a crippling injury to his right leg.

The crash reportedly knocked off Del Valle's right mirror, which investigators say was replaceable only with factory-made Range Rover parts. Knowing that fact led the State Attorney's Office back to Del Valle's SUV.

Just before his arrest, Officer Casillas was fired from FHP last month.

To add insult to literal injury, the body shop owner, Ariel Perera, even tried to make a bit of extra cash from the accident: The State Attorney's Office says he charged an insurance company for extra repairs that were never made.
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Jerry Iannelli is a former staff writer for Miami New Times from 2015 to March 2020. He graduated with honors from Temple University. He then earned a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University.