A city of Miami police officer drove recklessly on U.S. 1 through Key Largo Saturday night before being pulled over and arrested on a driving under the influence charge, according to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
A deputy stopped Officer Danny Hebra, 39, at around 7:15 p.m. after watching him weave in and out of north and southbound traffic for about a mile and a half on the highway in his Chevrolet Tahoe SUV, according to an arrest report. He also drove into the bicycle lane, the report states.
He made a right turn on Jewfish Avenue, off mile marker 103.5, again driving into the oncoming traffic lane, Sgt. Paul Bean wrote in his report. Bean then turned on his overhead lights and Hebra stopped his car.
Bean wrote in his report that he asked Hebra for his registration, and the officer responded by handing him his police badge.
“I usually don’t get stopped being a police officer, so that’s my registration,” Hebra said, according to Bean’s report.
When Bean asked Hebra for proof of insurance, he replied, “I’m a cop, man,” according to the report. Bean stated Hebra smelled strongly of alcohol, had slurred speech and his face was flush.
Hebra at first agreed to be put through a series of field sobriety exercises, during which Bean said he was swaying while standing. When Bean and another deputy began preparing to administer another test, Hebra asked him, “Sarge, please, do you want to do this?” according to the report.
He asked to make a phone call, which Bean allowed. The contact was listed as “Sergeant” on Hebra’s phone. In Spanish, according to Bean’s report, he told the person on the other end of the call, “They stopped me, and I’m doing roadsides. Do I do them not [sic]?”
When he hung up, he again asked Bean, “Sarge, do you want to do this?” He then said, according to the report, “I’m going to refuse. Sarge, do what you gotta do.”
Deputies arrested Hebra and took him to the station at Plantation Key, where he refused to take a breath test to determine his level of intoxication, and he also refused to give a statement to police, according to Bean’s report.
Hebra, who could not be reached for comment, was released from jail Monday with an order to show up for court at a later date.
Officer Kiara Delva, a spokeswoman for the Miami Police Department, was waiting to hear from the department’s internal affairs division Monday afternoon to comment on Hebra’s arrest.
“He is an officer with us,” Delva said. “That’s all I can say.”
The initial 911 reports deputies received were that a Chevy Tahoe, which police say Hebra was driving, went over the solid median in Key Largo, about two miles south of where he was pulled over, “and almost crashed,” Bean stated in his report.
The Tahoe was then seen parked at a liquor store at the Tradewinds shopping plaza, where witnesses told emergency dispatchers that the driver smashed a bottle of booze on the ground, according to the report.