Officer Says Stop!
Jeff asked: Officer ____ tasered a bicycle rider who failed to obey the officer’s command to stop. The incident started when the bicycle rider popped a wheelie through an intersection in front of the patrol car. “In response to the wheelie, the officer said he flashed his patrol lights and called over the teens, but they rode away.”
What law did the bicycle rider break? Why was the officer’s command to stop considered a lawful order? There are no indications the bicycle rider was wanted or fit the description of someone who committed a crime. The rider was 19 at the time of the incident.
You have not provided any information about a citation that may have been issued, so it is difficult to determine any violations. While we can’t be sure, it may be that the officer felt the cyclist was performing an unsafe act.
s. 316.1925 – Careless Driving
(1) Any person operating a vehicle upon the streets or highways within the state shall drive the same in a careful and prudent manner ….
In any event, the cyclist had no information about the officer’s order to stop, only that the officer had issued the order, and was required to do so. Refusing to do so greatly increased the cyclist’s exposure to more serious law enforcement action.
s. 316.1935 – Fleeing or Attempting to Elude a Law Enforcement Officer; Aggravated Fleeing or Eluding
(1) – It is unlawful for the operator of any vehicle, having knowledge that he or she has been ordered to stop such vehicle by a duly authorized law enforcement officer, willfully to refuse or fail to stop the vehicle in compliance with such order or, having stopped in knowing compliance with such order, willfully to flee in an attempt to elude the officer, and a person who violates this subsection commits a felony of the third degree ….