Officer involved in ATV chase speaks out

HOMESTEAD, FLA. (WSVN) - A police officer involved in a wild police chase with a trio of ATV riders said there wasn’t time to be scared. But Homestead K-9 officer Carlos Garcia sure kept up, and he only talked to 7News about this hot pursuit.

Homestead Police officer Carlos Garcia said, “Maintaining visual making sure this guy doesn’t get away and doesn’t hurt anyone else.”

Garcia stayed just feet away from an armed teenager for several minutes. “It’s a very dangerous job,” he said, “but we are the frontline to protect our community.”

Police said it all started with an aggravated assault at South Dade Park, Wednesday. Two teens were detained at the scene, but 16-year-old old Oscar Miranda took off.

Garcia was the first to spot him as he entered Homestead. “I see him. He’s actively fleeing from unmarked units,” he said. “At some point he crosses through a field where other officers can’t make it through.”

But since he was in his SUV, he managed to make it through the rocky and dusty grounds. “I think, ‘I have to catch this man. He’s armed. He’s fleeing. He may want to hurt someone, and part of my job is making sure that doesn’t happen.'”

The teen at one point stopped, but then took off again.

“You don’t have time to be scared,” said the officer. “You have to be able to think and react.”

What was on officer Garcia’s mind during all of this? “My family. My daughter tells me everyday to be safe. She tells me not be anyone’s hero, but somehow I always break that promise.”

Garcia said it’s all about teamwork out there on the field. A Miami-Dade Police chopper was in the air while his fellow officers were on the ground.

One of them put an end to this chase under pouring ran. “Your hear it on the radio that, yes, he is in custody. It’s a good feeling. You feel relieved and at peace. Everyone gets to go home safely.”

The three teens involved are facing several charges including aggravated assault. The 16-year-old you saw from 7SkyForce, is still in secured detention, and all three will be back in court later this month, when a judge will determine whether or not they’ll be charged as adults.

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