The Colorado cop who parked his patrol car on a set of railroad tracks before a train collided into it with a handcuffed woman in the backseat tried to shift blame for the mishap on the female cop who showed up to the scene after him.
“I didn’t think the Lupton officer was going to put her in my car, I just didn’t,” Platteville Police Sergeant Pablo Vazquez explained to another officer in the moments after the collision.
“And she did. She put her in my car.”
A freight train then struck the patrol car minutes later as the two cops were searching the woman’s truck for an alleged gun.
The incident took place on September 16 after police received a 911 call from a man accusing a woman in a truck of pulling a gun on him during a road rage incident. The woman, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, survived the incident and plans on suing.
Vazquez said he pulled Rios-Gonzalez over because the truck matched the description of the truck described in the 911 call.
He said the 20-year-old woman did not pull over at first but then came to a stop after crossing a set of railroad tracks. He came to a stop behind her directly on the tracks.
“I thought I had cleared the tracks,” Vazquez told the investigating officer.
He said Fort Lupton police officer Jordan Steinke then pulled up and handcuffed Rios-Gonzalez.
According to attorney Paul Wilkison, who is representing Rios-Gonzalez, his client screamed for help as the train approached and tried to escape but was unable to do so.
“You can hear the train horn,” he told CPR News. “The train has lights. Her hands were behind her back and she frantically tried to escape the vehicle, but the doors were locked, and it’s kind of a cage.
“She had thought about trying to get through to the front and get out that way, but she could not exit the vehicle. She saw everything coming.”
Rios-Gonzalez, who works as a TSA agent, was knocked unconscious and awoke several hours later in a hospital. She suffered nine broken ribs, a broken arm and a fractured sternum. She has been released from the hospital.
Police say she was lucky to have been placed on the driver side of the patrol car instead of the passenger side where the train struck.
Police say they later found a gun in her truck but charges have not been filed against her for the road rage allegation. However, charges may end up being filed against the two cops.