A Florida State Trooper relied on his instincts when he crashed into a vehicle to prevent it from hitting a Polk County Deputy during a car chase.
The climactic moment of the chase was caught on video, which showed the suspects’ car veering out of control and across the median, heading directly for a deputy who had just laid down stop sticks.
The FHP cruiser was right behind, and T-boned into the swerving car to stop it in its tracks.
“What you see in that video is nothing unusual for deputies, officers, and troopers anywhere. They will insert themselves into dangerous situations without hesitation for not only other law enforcement, but for anyone who is in danger. It’s what we do,” Sheriff Grady Judd wrote in a statement.
Danny Alvarez, general counsel for Tampa’s Police Benevolent Association, was impressed by the officers’ decision, and said it demonstrated the risks officers face on the road.
“Initially my reaction is ‘Wow that was extremely brave, extremely courageous, and extremely dangerous,’” he said. “Roadside dangers when you’re in law enforcement are at the top of the list that take law enforcement lives. We know it’s one of the most dangerous things you can be doing but you just can’t separate the danger from the job. It’s gotta get done,” he said.
Alvarez also pointed out that Pinellas County Deputy Michael Magli, who was killed when hit by a drunk driver evading police, had been laying down stop sticks at the time.
“Deputy Magli highlights the facts of what we’re talking about today and the importance of bringing attention to this fact,” he told WFLA 8.
Alvarez said that Trooper Binet’s purposeful crash was incredibly risky, underscoring that his life was on the line too.
“I think people watch way too many movies and think that after someone crashes their car trying to save somebody else, that they’re always going to walk away. You’re looking at a video where a Florida state trooper put his life on the line to stop a dangerous situation and save the life of a fellow law enforcement officer that he probably doesn’t even know,” he said.
The driver, 20-year-old Nain Nolasco and a 16-year-old boy were taken into custody at the scene. Nolasco was wanted for a burglary in Hillsborough County when he fled.
He faces charges of grand theft auto, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, child neglect, reckless driving, fleeing to elude, and driving without a valid driver’s license. The 16-year-old also faces burglary charges.