POLK COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Dramatic video shows a Florida Highway Patrol soldier making a split-second decision that may have saved the life of a Polk County MP.
As of Monday afternoon, off County Road 557 westbound on I-4, a Polk County MP was setting up stop sticks to catch a driver during a police chase, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
As the suspect evaded law enforcement, he immediately lost control, sending him scurrying down the grassy median between the ramps.
Video shows the vehicle heading towards the deputy who was standing near a railing when a cruiser driven by an FHP soldier crashed into the uncontrollable vehicle to stop it.
No one was hurt.
The accused driver, Nain Nolasco from Mulberry, 20, and a 16-year-old boy were arrested at the scene.
“What you see in this video is nothing unusual for MPs, officers and soldiers around the world. They will fit into dangerous situations without hesitation not only for other law enforcement personnel, but for anyone in danger. That’s what we do, “Sheriff Grady Judd wrote in a statement.
“My initial reaction was’ Wow, that was extremely courageous, extremely courageous and extremely dangerous,” said Danny Alvarez, general counsel for the Police Benevolent Association of Tampa.
Alvarez said what happened east of Lakeland on Monday afternoon highlighted the risks that duty officers face.
“Roadside dangers when you are 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 do, but you just can’t separate danger from work. It has to be done, ”he said.
Pinellas County MP Michael Magli was deploying arresting sticks to end a police chase in February, according to the Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office.
He was killed by the intoxicated driver fleeing from police, authorities said.
“Deputy Magli highlights the facts of what we are talking about today and the importance of drawing attention to that fact,” Alvarez said.
Equally risky, according to Alvarez, was Private Binet’s decision to voluntarily run over his vehicle.
“I think people watch way too many movies and think after someone crashed their car trying to save someone else, they’re always going to go away. You are watching a video where a Florida State soldier put his life in danger to end a dangerous situation and save the life of another law enforcement officer he probably doesn’t even know ” , did he declare.
Nolasco faces charges of grand theft of a car, lack of a valid driver’s license, aggravated assault against a law enforcement officer, neglect of children, reckless driving, flight to escape and had a warrant out of Hillsborough County for burglary.
The 16-year-old passenger was charged with burglary.