Florida officer dragged leads to chase, ends on highway

Police say Thomas Cabrera, 38, was the driver and tried to murder an officer in the process.

Editor's Note: Warning the video above contains explicit language.

DAVIE – A man is now charged with attempting to murder an officer after leading police on a chase during the morning rush hours on I-595.

The chase snarled traffic for miles Tuesday morning.

Police say Thomas Cabrera, 38, was the driver and tried to murder an officer in the process. He had someone else in the car with him at the time, only identified as a female passenger.

The chase originated in Pembroke Pines. Police said it began when Officer Jon Cusack, a 19-year veteran with Pembroke Pines Police, was sent to check out a report of a drug overdose at Century Village on Pines Boulevard.

“Officers responded to a call for service this morning within the Century Village community and while there, I don’t know exactly what happened, but the officer was dragged by a vehicle that was being driven by an individual and occupied by a second person,” said police Captain Al Xiques.

Security at Century Village called police saying the two were asleep in the car and there was a clear bag with a substance in it. Security was concerned of an overdose.

When Officer Cusack arrived investigators say Cabrera woke up, put the car in gear and tried to leave.

Cusack then reached in the car trying to stop it and that’s when investigators say Cabrera took off, with the officer dragging along with him.

Officer Cusack’s body cam footage was released by the Pembroke Pines Police, which can be seen but be warned, it contains some graphic language.

Cabrera then fled north on nearby I-75. Weaving in and out of traffic and driving on the shoulder to get around congestion, the driver made his way onto the eastbound lanes of I-595.

As more officers from several agencies and the Florida Highway Patrol joined the chase, they were able to stop the car around 9 a.m. just west of I-95.

Cabrera put his hands out the window as officers approached with guns drawn. Officers dragged the driver from the car and placed him under arrest. Seconds later a second person was removed from the car and also taken into custody.

Back at Century Village, 94-year-old Anna Carabetta was furious that police set up their crime scene investigation at the south entrance where the officer was dragged. She said it inconvenienced her granddaughter who was not able to drive in to pick her up.

“My grandmother lives in this building here and you come in the front gate, you can’t get to them because they make you turn around. And she ain’t letting me in there so I’m going to have to walk in there,” said Carabetta’s granddaughter Barby.

Officer Cusack was taken to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries. He underwent surgery and is recovering, expected to make a full recovery.

As for Cabrera, he is now facing a slew of charges other than attempted murder. He’s also charged with fleeing and eluding police and driving with a suspended license.

This story originally appeared on CBS Miami’s website.

© 2018 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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