Woman in Hollywood PD Frame Shame Speaks

Torrensvilas: my reputation was tarnished

The woman who sat handcuffed and helpless as Hollywood, FL police plotted to pin an accident on her in a shocking incident caught on a cop's dashboard cam spoke out for the first time this morning, saying she still has respect for police even after the encounter.

In an exclusive interview on "The Today Show," Alexandra Torrensvilas said she first saw the video of the February arrest two weeks ago, and it made the whole incident make sense.

"It confirmed everything that I thought," Torrensvilas said. "I knew that's not what happened that night."

She said despite the fact that she was framed, Torensvilas said she still generally trusts police officers.

"I still have the utmost respect for all of them," she said. "Just because you have a couple of bad apples doesn't mean the whole orchard is rotten."

Officers Joel Francisco and Dewey Pressley, Sgt. Andrew Diaz, community service Officer Karim Thomas and crime scene technician Andrea Tomassi have all been suspended with pay and are under investigation for the shocking February 17 incident that was all caught on a police dashboard camera.

The disturbing video shows Torrensvilas, 23, handcuffed in the back of the squad car as the officers get their stories straight after Officer Francisco, an 11-year veteran, crashed into the back of Torrensvilas' parked vehicle.

When Officer Pressley arrives and questions Torrensvilas, she tells him that she has been drinking. She tells the officers that a cat had jumped out of her window, and that she'd stopped her car so she could try to find it.

Pressley, a 21-year veteran officer, seizes the opportunity and arrests her for DUI, and then the cops begin to brainstorm believable excuses for the accident.

"As far as I'm concerned. I'm going to put words in his mouth. She went to accelerate and a cat jumped out of the window at which point he thought it could have been a pedestrian, which distracted him," Pressley tells Sgt. Andrew Diaz, another veteran of the force. "I mean what's the chances of hitting a f---in drunk when a cat jumps out of the window?"

Still, the cops run with the idea and rush to get Torrensvilas to do a Breathalyzer test so they can officially say she was drunk.

"I nailed her on the video. I already hung her on video. She said she has been doing a beer party," Pressley says. "She's gonna blow."

Then, another cop debates with Pressley on who is going to write up the fabricated report to clear their police comrade.

"I know how I'm going to word this with the cat so we can get him off the hook. I'll write the narrative," Pressley says. "We're going to bend this a little bit. We'll do a little Walt Disney to protect the cop because it wouldn't have mattered because she is drunk anyway."

Torrensvilas said that she didn't know the accident had even happened when she was approached by police, and that she couldn't hear the officers as they hatched their plot while she sat in the squad car.

Torrensvilas, who admitted she'd been drinking that night, also disputed the police report that said she was two times over the legal limit when she was arrested.

The charges against Torrensvilas have since been dropped, and her lawyer, Mark Gold, who appeared with her on "Today," said they're looking into filing a civil lawsuit against the officers.

On Friday, Hollywood Police Chief Chadwick Wagner ensured the public that his office is investigating the incident.

"I realize and understand those that feel a sense of betrayal over this incident," Wagner said. "And I ask each and every one of you to allow this investigative process to run its course and to have confidence that this matter will be investigated accurately and professionally."

Torrensvilas said the damage has already been done.

"My reputation was, you know...you can't buy that back," she said.

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