Prior performance reviews deemed officer who left woman in car on train tracks ‘incompetent’

A commander had recommended suspension and a demotion for the officer due to his lack of care for his own safety and the safety of his officers


By Ashley Silver
Police1

PLATTEVILLE, Colo. — Reports are surfacing that show the officer responsible for injuring a woman by leaving her in his patrol car while on train tracks was “incompetent” in previous police roles.

Officer Pablo Vazquez parked his police cruiser on train tracks when he pulled over Yareni Rios Gonzalez during a road rage investigation back in September. Gonzalez was placed in the car by an officer just before a train hit the cruiser, while the officers were searching her car for a weapon.

According to 9 News, discipline documents show a concerning performance history following the officer before this incident.

“Sergeant Vazquez operates with a lack of care for his own safety and the safety of his officers,” an internal affairs report from the Federal Heights Police Department said according to 9 News. “...Vazquez appears to be incompetent and treats his officers harshly.” 

In 2020, a Federal Heights patrol commander recommended suspension and a demotion for Vazquez when he failed to adhere to a performance plan, 9 News reported.

The Weld County District Attorney’s Office is still reviewing the investigation and will determine if Vazquez and other responding officers will face charges.

 

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