KEY COLONY BEACH, Fla. – A Key Colony Beach police officer fired at a driver Thursday morning during a traffic stop, authorities said.
Monroe County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Becky Herrin said Officer Charles Griffith was acting as a backup officer during a traffic stop by a deputy just before 7 a.m. at Mile Marker 61 of the Overseas Highway.
She said Deputy Jose Hernandez initially stopped the 1996 Chevrolet because it had a headlight out, the tag light out and the license tag was obscured by dirt and was unreadable.
Herrin said Hernandez called for backup after smelling marijuana inside the car.
The driver, identified as Jerrett Bryan, 39, of Miami, was asked to exit the vehicle, but he refused and tried to roll up his window, Herrin said.
Authorities said the officers stopped him from doing so and opened the car door to remove Bryan from the vehicle.
Herrin said Griffith had his hand on the doorpost, with his fingers inside the car’s door, when Bryan slammed the door on the officer’s fingers.
Herrin said Griffith pulled his hand from the door, grabbed his gun and fired once at the driver’s side door, shattering the window, but not striking Bryan.
Authorities said Bryan then fled in the vehicle.
Hernandez followed the suspect and arrested him a short distance away, Herrin said.
Griffith was treated at a hospital for injuries to his hand.
A check on Bryan’s name revealed he had a suspended driver’s license and was on probation for drug charges, authorities said.