Ex-Hialeah Police Commander Accused of Interfering in FHP DUI Arrest

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An investigation is underway after a former Hialeah Police commander allegedly interfered in a Florida Highway Patrol DUI arrest last month.

The investigation involves the Dec. 19 arrest of 49-year-old Manuel Abreu, who was driving home from a casino when he approached the intersection of E. 32nd Street and Le Jeune Road when he failed to stop for a red light, made a U-turn and sped off, an arrest report said.

Abreu was pulled over by an FHP trooper a few blocks away and failed a roadside DUI test, the report said. But during the arrest, the trooper allowed Abreu to make a phone call.

"As a courtesy to the individual who was arrested the individual was allowed to call someone to the scene to pick up the car," the report said.

But the person Abreu called wasn’t just anyone. It was a commander with the Hialeah Police Department who FHP spokesman Joe Sanchez said told Abreu not to take a breathalyzer test.

“Well the officer heard that and recorded it. It came back to the department, he notified one of the captains of the incident. Our department contacted Hialeah Department and said 'that’s clearly a violation, you guys need to look into this,'" Sanchez told NBC 6 Friday.

Just five days later, after an internal investigation was opened within the Hialeah Police Department, the commander retired. Hialeah Police declined to comment on the incident so it's not clear if the former commander will face any disciplinary action pending the outcome of the investigation.

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