Some members of South Florida enforcement seem to think they are above the law. Even worse, law enforcement who break the law down here have colleagues who are willing to help them. Possibly including a city’s chief of police. Here’s the story of Jesus Barrenechea.
Seven months after a wrong-way Interstate 95 crash injured three women in Oakland Park, a Miami Beach police sergeant turned himself in to authorities to face charges.
Jesus Barrenechea, 28, met with investigators at the Broward County main jail Thursday morning and was arrested on charges of leaving the scene of an accident with injuries, driving on the wrong side of the road, failing to render aid, grand theft over $100,000 and making a false insurance claim.
Authorities say Barrenechea drove south in the northbound lanes of Interstate 95 near Commercial Boulevard on Dec. 6 and collided head-on with an SUV carrying three women. The women received minor injuries.
According to investigators, Barrenechea fled down a nearby embankment, but was picked up by authorities in the 4100 block of North Andrews Avenue, questioned and released.
According to the arrest report, Barrenechea filed a false insurance claim with Geico, saying he was asleep in the passenger seat that morning, but was too drunk to remember who was driving. Troopers said he filed an insurance claim and received more than $24,000.
He left the scene of an accident but Jesus Barrenechea was released. How generous of the police. It also sounds like they never bothered to check if Barrenechea was drunk when first apprehended. Either that or they did, and let him go. Wouldn’t be the first time a South Florida policeman was allowed to walk away after being found DUI. You or I would be arrested.
I blogged about this accident when it first happened. Here is part of what I wrote–
Feel free to say I’m jumping to conclusions, but one has to be under the influence to be driving the wrong way on I-95. If Barrenchea was involved in the acccident, he wouldn’t be the first recent law enforcement officer to cause an I-95 wreck by driving the wrong way on the interstate. Two brothers were killed by former FBI agent David Farrall in 1999. Farrall only got 90 days in jail after the Florida Highway Patrol botched the initial investiagation of the crash.
I hope authorities don’t do a repeat with Barrenechea if the Miami Beach Officer was at fault December 6th.
We don’t know yet if police botched the investigation or not, though like I wrote above, I just have suspicions. What we do know is that members of the Miami Beach police department which employs Jesus Barrenechea, were non-cooperative at best with investigators or at worst deliberately tried to obstruct the investigation.
But it wasn’t an easy investigation.
Florida Highway Patrol troopers complained in charging documents that colleagues of arrested Sgt. Jesus Barrenechea skipped out on depositions and likely lied throughout the case.
Cpl. Richard Nardiello, the FHP’s investigator in the case, wrote that two Miami Beach officers called to testify in the investigation lied or were untruthful and two others never showed up for a deposition, despite a subpoena. He wrote that even Police Chief Carlos Noriega didn’t return his calls of complaint.
Another case of a South Florida policeman having enablers on his side when trying to evade justice. Jesus Barrenechea’s case isn’t as bad as the David Farrall story. Just because no one died, nor did law enforcement try to blame the victims this time around. It is still troubling what is going on at least so far as the Miami Beach police goes. Some members of that branch of law enforcement think they are above the law, and others willing to cover or assist for those who are. If they will lie just over a traffic accident, what else are they being deceitful about?
Note- Since a accident that took place in the 1980’s involving someone driving the wrong way, I’ve had a phobia about such accidents. My incident invovlved an employee of the Dept of Transportation, who then tried to use her sex appeal to get her sympathy. It got the dizzy broad(Earning that title for driving on the left side of a 2-lane road. She had to be dizzy, a car is coming at you in the opposite direction, wouldn’t that seem to tell a person they aren’t driving where they should be?) ticketed instead.