Crime

Officer injured in crash with stolen car, cops say

Miami Herald File

A man in a stolen car sped through a stop sign early Wednesday morning in Little Havana, causing a collision with a marked police car and sending the officer to the hospital with a broken arm and displaced hip, Miami police said.

The man, identified as Tommy Lazaga, 22, was arrested and charged with reckless driving with bodily injury, several counts of reckless driving with property damage and grand theft auto.

According to police, Lazaga was heading west on Southwest Second Street in a blue Nissan Altima and officer Alexander Mena, 27, was headed north on Southwest 17th Avenue at about 3:30 a.m. Wednesday with the crash happened. Lazaga, police said, was "operating his vehicle at a high rate of speed with no headlights on at the time."

"The defendant's actions displayed a clear wanton disregard for the rules of the road and safety for the public," an officer wrote in Lazaga's arrest report.

The force of the crash, according to the report, sent the Nissan onto a concrete median before hitting a "structure" at 134 SW 17th Ave. The officer's marked cruiser "spun out of control" and came to rest on a sidewalk after hitting a metal fence, police said.

Both Lazaga and Mena were taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center. According to police, Lazaga suffered facial lacerations and Mena, a five-year veteran of the force, broke his left arm and displaced his hip.

During the investigation, officers learned the car had been stolen from the 1500 block of Southwest Fourth Street.

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