Former Altamonte Springs police officer Mark Maupin drove 100-mile-an-hour without siren or lights for no apparent reason. He ended up hitting teenager Erskin Bell who was left paralyzed and his family was left with massive monthly medical bills. Officers at the scene, however, did not give Maupin a sobriety test and now he will not be charged with any crime. He only faces the loss of his license but will keep his $5,000 a month in state retirement.
Erskine Bell Jr. was in a Honda Civic driven by friend Jessica Hernandez about 12:15 a.m. when Maupin’s patrol car rear-ended them at 104 mph. While a paramedic identified Maupin at the scene, his lawyer argued that witnesses did not conclusively identify him as the driver of the patrol car and asked for the charges to be dismissed, here.
The family later settled with the city for $2.1 million, here.
It turns out that Maupin has been in seven prior accidents, here. He has also been disciplined for speeding, failure to appear in court, sexual harassment and failure to turn in traffic citation paperwork. He skipped the hearing on this particular accident, here.
While drivers are routinely charged criminally in such cases where speeding results in deaths, police officers often escape such liability. Indeed, this case has striking similarities to a recent case out of Las Vegas, here. There are recent exceptions, however, here.
What is interesting about this case is that, unlike some cases with officers responding to call (here), this case did not involve such claims of justification.
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