Trooper struck during traffic stop, chases down offender – Florida Politics (blog)
Call it instant karma.
A Florida Highway Patrol Trooper’s car was intentionally struck as she was conducting a regular traffic stop. With minor sustained injuries, she pursued and apprehended the offender.
On Tuesday night, FHP Trooper Vanessa Franceschi was parked along a portion of the Florida Turnpike in Miami-Dade County when a suspect in another vehicle struck her patrol car.
Without hesitation, Franceschi chased the suspect through evening traffic. A news release from FHP described her actions as heroic and skillful; she followed the department’s Pursuit Intervention Technique and caused the offender to stop, all without endangering nearby citizens.
Authorities believe Franceschi was targeted because she is a law enforcement officer. Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles Executive Director Terry L. Rhodes said in a prepared statement that his agency “must continue to support our brave heroes by letting them know malicious attacks against law enforcement will not be tolerated in our communities.”
As Tuesday night’s events show, those “malicious attacks” will also result in punishment.
According to DHSMV, the suspect was charged with Aggravated Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, Felony Fleeing, and Eluding and Leaving the Scene of a Crash with Injuries. An investigation is underway, and video footage of the pursuit will be released once available.
“This suspect’s actions were cowardly, and Trooper Franceschi’s quick and courageous actions exemplify the best of the Florida Highway Patrol and all law enforcement officers,” added Rhodes.