Miami Gardens - Opa-locka

Miami-Dade police car on chase collides with two SUVs in fiery crash

The Sunday morning crash involving a marked patrol car at Northwest 171st Street and Seventh Avenue.
The Sunday morning crash involving a marked patrol car at Northwest 171st Street and Seventh Avenue.

A police car on a chase collided with two SUVs Sunday morning along the Miami Gardens border, leaving burned metal but only minor injuries to the drivers.

The suspect being pursued, 38-year-old Bradys Balcinde of Miami Springs, was arrested on charges of fleeing and eluding and aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer.

Bradys Balcinde
Bradys Balcinde was arrested on aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding charges. Florida Dept. of Corrections

The predawn drama started with an assault on the officer, Miami-Dade police Detective Argemis Colome said.

Colome didn’t know the details of the alleged assault, but said it happened at Northwest 119th Street and Seventh Avenue. That led to the chase that ended just off the Golden Glades interchange at Northwest 171st Street and Seventh Avenue.

The assaulted officer, who has three years of experience, was heading south on Northwest Seventh Avenue when her police car collided with an Infiniti SUV heading west on 171st Street. That propelled the police car nose-first into a Cadillac Escalade facing east on 171st Street. The second collision ignited flames that burned the front of the police car and most of the Escalade before Miami-Dade Fire Rescue put out the fire.

The driver of the Infiniti was taken to Jackson North Medical Center with minor injuries. The officer went to Jackson Memorial Hospital as a precaution.

Balcinde was taken into custody in front of the GFive strip club on nearby Northwest 170th Street.

Balcinde — who has been arrested at least 30 times in Miami-Dade County — was charged with fleeing and eluding law enforcement. He has been accused of that three previous times.

He also has a record of being charged with grand theft, which earned him six months in prison in 2015. And he has been convicted for being a habitually driving without a license. Last month, he also was convicted for battery by a jail detainee and bringing contraband into a jail.

This is the fourth recent crash in Miami-Dade County involving a police officer in pursuit or responding to an emergency call. On Saturday, a 71-year-old father was killed after a Miami police officer crashed into two vehicles.

David J. Neal: 305-376-3559, @DavidJNeal