Sunday, June 19, 2011

Florida - Motorcyclist drags Sheriff's Deputy in traffic stop

MoralesThere are several ways to handle the inevitable traffic stop while riding a motorcycle.
However, riding off while the police officer has a firm grip on your shoulder isn’t the best idea, as a biker in Florida can attest from his prison cell.
Public attention and awe has come from a video recently released by the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office of a traffic stop in March. A 62 year old deputy decided to stop a motorcyclist at a traffic light located at the end of an offramp from I-95.
The deputy, Mike Musto Sr. had witnessed 38-year-old Victor Morales speeding on the freeway on hist white sportsbike.
As the Sheriff officer approached the motorcycle, Morales decided to speed away, but Musto had grabbed onto the riders shoulder.
The graphic video shows the rider dragging the sheriff’s deputy across the intersection for nearly 200 hundred feet, and reaching speeds of forty miles per hour.
"I couldn't let go," Musto told reporters at a press conference yesterday, "I would've gone face first into the pavement. So I held on for whatever I was worth."
As soon as the deputy did decide to let go, he ran back to his police car and tried to give a description of the motorcyclist on the radio.
Conflicting reports have surfaced in the next part of the story. One news agency has reported the motorcycle was spotted in a shopping plaza parking lot in the next city by another police department, while another claims an officer recognized a snapshot of the rider.
It was his barber.
When police arrived at the barber shop Morales worked in, they found a matching motorcycle, jacket and helmet to those seen in the police video.
Morales was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, and resisting arrest with violence.
Morales hasn’t made a public statement about the incident.
After suffering "a lot of road rash," Musto was back to patrolling the streets the following Monday.
"Everything turned out well," Musto said. "The good thing is we got this guy off the streets."

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