A Miami Beach Police officer has been relieved of duty after a video posted to YouTube showed him speeding so fast on South Beach that his patrol car went momentarily airborne, confirms the Miami Herald.
Officer Eric Dominguez, who was using his lights and siren, was reportedly responding to an emergency call. But officers have been restricted from reaching excessive speeds on the sand since several incidents in which beach-goers were seriously injured or killed.
The video, apparently shot by shocked tourists near 8th Street and Ocean Drive, shortly shows a second police vehicle -- also with lights flashing -- moving at a more reasonable speed. (Watch the video above.)
Chief Raymond Martinez announced Thursday Dominguez was relieved pending an investigation "involving the operation of his marked police vehicle."
The incident is not the first in which Dominguez has found trouble behind the wheel. In 2010 the Miami New Times detailed a 2003 crash in which he nearly killed four bikers -- including a Miramar police officer -- while speeding and weaving through I-75 traffic in his city-issued Ford:
"Dominguez tried to tell the highway patrol he was on duty, but my friend says, 'Quit bullshitting us. I'm a cop too. You had no lights on, no jurisdiction -- you were just driving like a maniac,'" Dalama says. "It's a good thing [Gomez] was there or I'm sure Dominguez would have lied his way out of it."
The city of Miami Beach settled a civil suit with the bikers years later, paying out "tens of thousands" in damages. Dominguez also abused sick time, the New Times reported, all while earning $128,853 per year.
The incident captured on YouTube comes just days after Chief Martinez took office vowing to clean up MBPD's reputation, soiled by incidents including one last July in which an on-duty officer allegedly drank and partied at a South Beach bar before running over two beach-goers in the dark on his police ATV, causing severe injuries.
View that report below:
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