| Police |

Union Chief Slams Driver Who Filmed Speeding Cop for Her Own Spotty Driving Record

Keep New Times Free
I Support
  • Local
  • Community
  • Journalism
  • logo

Support the independent voice of Miami and help keep the future of New Times free.

Update: After complaints, Facebook has removed a post from Union President Javier Ortiz that included Claudio Castillo's phone number and encouraged his followers to call her. 

Last week, a Miami woman named Claudia Castillo went nuclear on the Palmetto Expressway when she says a Miami-Dade Police officer, traveling nearly 100 mph in his cruiser, went flying past her. Castillo followed the cop, flagged him down, and then filmed an exchange that has since gone viral online, with many viewers praising her as the ultimate road vigilante. 

But Castillo is now facing her online blowback. Amid revelations that her own driving record is far from spotless, Miami's outspoken police union chief, Javier Ortiz, took aim at the driver on Twitter last night, blasting out photos he says are from her Facebook account allegedly showing her drinking and boating.

Castillo's viral encounter came last Friday, when she filmed an officer now identified as Daniel Fonticiella driving toward downtown Miami. By flashing her lights and honking, she eventually got him to pull over on I-95 southbound at the NW Eighth Street exit. "The reason I pulled you over today," she tells the befuddled Fonticiella, "you were pushing 90 miles per hour." 

Her video of that encounter has now been viewed more than a million times:

Fonticiella eventually apologized, and the Miami-Dade Police Department promised a full investigation after Castillo officially filed an internal affairs complaint. But MDPD's new director, Juan Perez, also criticized her for potentially endangering the public by following the officer instead of calling in a complaint.

But last night, NBC 6 dove into Castillo's own driving records. According to the station, Florida Highway Patrol is investigating Castillo for reckless driving for an incident just two weeks before her viral video was posted. Castillo had been pulled over 14 times since 1998, NBC 6 reports. (New Times wasn't able to find contact information for Castillo; she didn't comment for the TV station's report either.)

That was more than enough ammunition for Ortiz, the Miami Police Department's voluble union chief. He'd already taken to Twitter to slam Castillo for her actions:

After NBC's report, Ortiz dug into Facebook. He began tweeting photos he claims shows Castillo drinking and boating, and wrote that "wannabe cop #claudiaCastillo likes to drink and drive recreational vehicles."

Facebook doxing is one of Ortiz's favorite tactics in controversial cases. Last year, he blasted out Facebook photos of a woman who'd filmed a Miami cop allegedly kicking a handcuffed man.  

Update 2 p.m.: Ortiz didn't limit his campaign against Castillo to posting photos from her Facebook page — he also apparently found her phone number and posted it to his account, encouraging his followers to call her:

Among others, filmmaker Billy Corben quickly complained to Facebook, charging that Ortiz's post amounted to harassment. Facebook apparently agreed — according to Corben, they took down the post:

Ortiz defends his post though, saying he was just sharing information others had posted. Shortly after Facebook took down the original post, he's reposted it. It's still live, as of 3 p.m.

"I simply "shared" information posted by another poster," Ortiz says. "Ms. Castillo is all over the media voluntarily stating that no one is above the law. Clearly she has a double standard for herself." 

Keep Miami New Times Free... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Miami with no paywalls.

We use cookies to collect and analyze information on site performance and usage, and to enhance and customize content and advertisements. By clicking 'X' or continuing to use the site, you agree to allow cookies to be placed. To find out more, visit our cookies policy and our privacy policy.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.


Join the New Times community and help support independent local journalism in Miami.