Miami-Dade cop accepts plea deal in hit-and-run crash case

A Miami-Dade police officer Wednesday accepted probation and must complete 250 hours of community service for leaving the scene of a traffic crash in August.

Larry Laverde, 30, pleaded no contest to reckless driving and leaving the scene of an accident. Prosecutors, however, dropped a drunk-driving charge after deciding that evidence against him was too shaky.

Police say Laverde, a seven-year veteran who was off duty, crashed his marked patrol car into another motorist in Kendall, and then drove off, calling a sergeant to tell him he had been in an accident.

An alcohol breath test showed Laverde had been drinking. But the case was far from clear cut because the test was not taken until five hours after the crash, prosecutors said in a close-out memo released Wednesday.

Under the plea deal, Laverde must pay restitution, donate $250 to Mothers Against Drunk Driving and attend DUI school. The deal means Laverde won’t lose his state law enforcement certificate.

He remains with Miami-Dade police pending an internal investigation.

“Mr. Laverde is glad to put this incident behind him and get back to doing what he does best: serving the community,” said his attorney, Arnold Trevilla.

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