Four vehicle burglary suspects who drove onto Florida’s Turnpike to evade officers had their escape plans ruined when troopers employed a controversial maneuver most South Florida police agencies stopped using decades ago.
Florida Highway Patrol dashcam video shows a trooper using the PIT maneuver, or Precision Immobilization Technique, to tap the front end of the FHP cruiser to the rear-end of the group’s silver Toyota sedan, forcing it to spin and come to a stop near Northwest 74th Street in Doral.
The Florida Highway Patrol released dashcam footage of Friday’s 4 a.m. chase.
In the video, a trooper shouts: “Let me see your hands.”
Miami-Dade police then arrested the four men, according to the Florida Highway Patrol.
Earlier today, FHP Troopers assisted @MiamiDadePD in the apprehension of a burglary vehicle!
Troopers located the fleeing vehicle on the FL Turnpike and successfully performed a PIT maneuver, bringing the pursuit to an end.
The suspects were immediately apprehended!#teamwork pic.twitter.com/kWCoRHxJJd
— FHP Miami (@FHPMiami) January 14, 2022
The suspects were wanted for breaking into a car around 3:36 a.m., according to Miami-Dade police.
Police said they followed the suspects from a distance with their lights off onto the turnpike and radioed for assistance. Troopers spotted the Toyota in the area of Northwest 12th Street and attempted a traffic stop. When that didn’t work, they gave chase. FHP says the suspect was driving at about 50 mph.
Miami-Dade police have not disclosed the identity of the suspects or what charges they’re facing.
Pit maneuver: A controversial police tactic
The Miami-Dade Police Department doesn’t practice the PIT maneuver as a policy and took no part in it during Friday’s chase of the burglary suspects, said police spokesman Angel Rodriguez.
Like most other agencies in the county, Miami-Dade determined the PIT practice to be too dangerous for police, suspects and the public, especially in dense areas.
The issue, however, resurfaced in April, shortly after Art Acevedo took the helm of the Miami Police Department. Though the policy was not put in place during Acevedo’s brief six-month tenure, the chief teased he might bring it back, saying it’s used in California and parts of Texas, places he referred to as the capital of police pursuits and where he worked in the past.
Acevedo said not using the policy was an invitation to some criminals to run.
Miami and most other South Florida policing agencies dropped PIT maneuvers — and most high-speed vehicle chases — for the most part in the mid-1990s. It was also determined that far too many of the incidents were set off by minor traffic infractions.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers can still do PIT maneuvers, according to the agency’s policy.