Florida Driver on Drugs Drags Officer Half a Mile

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A resident of a South Florida retirement community noticed a man and a woman sitting in a parked car on the street, appearing to be either asleep or unconscious. The people inside were not responsive, so the resident called Pembroke Pines police. A few moments later, officer Jon Cusack arrived at the scene and reached inside the partially open window to unlock the door, the Washington Post reports. As soon as he did, the driver — 38-year-old Thomas Cabrera — woke up and gunned the engine, nearly hitting an ambulance and dragging Cusack, who clung to the car to avoid being run over, for more than half a mile at more than 60 mph.

Surveillance video released by police shows that as the vehicle approached the community’s gate, Cusack fell to the pavement and rolled out of the path of oncoming traffic. Police allege that Cabrera purposely attempted to crash into an ambulance that had been responding to the initial overdose call in order to dislodge Cusack. A backup officer and rescue workers rushed to treat Cusack, who was taken to a hospital with serious injuries. As of Wednesday afternoon, Cusack was recovering from surgery. Cabrera is charged with attempted murder of a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, driving with a suspended license and reckless driving. After Cusack let go of the car, Cabrera led police on a nearly 20-mile chase, reaching 105 mph. Cabrera eventually became trapped in rush-hour traffic, and police took him and his fiancée into custody. Cabrera told police he and his fiancée were using heroin and cocaine before Cusack arrived to his parked car.

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