A domestic dispute in Hialeah led to a tense scene on Interstate 75 over the weekend as a Miramar police officer in her marked cruiser tried to get away from the father of her children, according to police.
The dramatic scene, which included the sedan sideswiping the cruiser, was caught on the dashcam of another driver.
“It was wild,” said Austin Conley, 27, who was on his way home from work Saturday when he first saw the cruiser speed past him. “It was one of the craziest things I’ve seen, and I have seen a lot down here.”
On Monday, the driver of the sedan, Roberto Zaldivar, was arrested by Hialeah police on charges of domestic battery by strangulation and burglary with assault or battery, jail records show.
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He could face additional charges for the I-75 incident including aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, the Florida Highway Patrol said.
Miramar police officer Ashley Abreu told FHP that an argument that started in her Hialeah home with Zaldivar “turned violent,” according to an FHP report.
Abreu, according to the FHP report, was heading to work around 4 p.m. Saturday in her patrol car when she saw Zaldivar following her in his gold Nissan Altima.
“Officer Abreu stated as she attempted to evade Zaldivar in an attempt to get some distance, he persisted as she veered from the left lane to the right, and even tried slamming on his brakes in front of her patrol vehicle to get her to stop,” a trooper wrote in the report. “At some point, Officer Abreu veered for the Miramar Parkway exit, and his vehicle sideswiped the left front of her patrol vehicle as he tried to maneuver in front of her again.”
The video shows Abreu speeding past Conley, with the gold sedan close behind. At one point smoke can be seen coming from the sedan’s tire. The end of the video shows Conley passing them and the two cars parked on the side of the highway.
Conley said he called police to report the incident, not even realizing at first he had the video. He said he had “a feeling it was personal” and knew he couldn’t just leave it alone.
“I wouldn’t feel right knowing I could have done something and didn’t,” said Conley, who bought the camera with birthday money from his grandmother after he encountered an incident on the road.
Miramar police on Monday confirmed the incident, saying “it stemmed from a domestic altercation that occurred in the city of Hialeah.”
“The victim in this case is a Miramar police officer,” the department said. “Unfortunately, domestic violence is prevalent in every community and affects people regardless of their age, gender, socioeconomic status, race or religion — and in this case their employment. Police officers are not immune to being victims of domestic abuse.”
Zaldivar was being held in Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center on a $20,000 bond.