Retired cop claims self-defense in Tropical Park shooting

SOUTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) - A retired Miami Police officer told 7News he opened fire to defend himself, last week, when another man tried running him over with a car in the parking lot of Tropical Park.

Retired police officer Michael Levy said he came to the park, last Wednesday, to teach his wife how to parallel park. He ended up in handcuffs.

The retired law enforcer’s wife sat in the driver’s seat, learning how to parallel park when, Levy said, a man approached their car. That man, Rudy Velasquez, claimed the couple was blocking the disabled parking spaces, according to Miami-Dade Police.

Rudy Velasquez

Levy said he then stepped out of the car. “I said, ‘You know, if you have a problem, call the police. We’re not doing anything,'” Levy said. “He yells, ‘I am the police.'”

Levy continued, “I said, ‘You’re the police? Show me some identification. He pulled out this old rusted badge, and he aggressively goes, ‘Look, I am the [expletive] police.”

Levy, who retired from Miami PD in 2008 after 10 years with the department, said Velasquez tried to run him and his wife over multiple times as they stood in the parking lot, after yelling ethnic slurs multiple times.

“He throws the car in drive, and he comes at us really fast,” Levy said, “and I pulled out my firearm, and I pointed it at him, and I could see the woman probably raise her hands a little, but he just continued.”

Levy opened fire on their car, shooting the woman, Velasquez’s wife, in the arm.

Levy claims he was forced to fire. He fired a second round, but no one else was hit.

“I’ve never fired a weapon during the course of duty in my life, and I’ve been in some scary positions before,” Levy said, “but this was by far the most dangerous predicament I’ve ever been in.”

Police initially placed the retired cop in handcuffs, but he is not currently facing charges.

“He had the right to defend himself and, ‘stand your ground’ or self defense, you don’t have to be run over by some nut job who’s trying to kill you,” said Michael Catalano, Levy’s attorney.

Catalano believes Velasquez should be charged.

Velasquez hasn’t responded to requests for comment.

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