Crime

Miami Beach Officer Derick Kuilan Fled The Scene Of ATV Crash, Witnesses Say

Miami Beach Police have identified the officer who plowed his ATV into two beachgoers early Sunday morning as 30-year-old Officer Derick Kuilan, as investigators continue looking into whether he was drunk and joyriding with a woman he'd met at the Clevelander.

Victim Luis Almonte tells Channel 7 that Kuilan didn't have his lights on and didn't stop after running him over and shattering his femur."The only person who came to see if I was OK was my brother," Almonte tells the station. "If you're going to have a job where you're supposed to take care of the people, you should be more responsible."

Another witness tells the Miami Herald that he saw Kuilan leave the Clevelander with a 27-year-old woman and that other cops covered for Kuilan after he fled the scene of the crash.

Kuilan, who's been with the department for five years, is suspended with pay pending the results of a toxicology test, says Det. Juan Sanchez, a spokesman for the department.

Sanchez did confirm that when he crashed the cop "had an unauthorized person on the ATV" in violation of the department's rules.

Almonte and a 28-year-old friend, Kitzie Nicanor, had been sitting on the beach waiting for the sun to rise around 5:15 a.m. when Kuilan hit them. Both victims are recovering at the hospital, along with Kuilan's passenger, whom the Herald identifies as Adelee Sharee Martin.

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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