Boynton Beach Cop Who Drove Into Pole Yesterday Has a History of Crashing Cars

The Boynton Beach cop who was driving herself and two other cops toward the scene of fleeing burglary suspects before crashing into a pole -- landing all three of them in the hospital -- happens to have a history of crashing her car into things, according to her discipline record.

The discipline record from the internal affairs section of the Boynton Beach Police Department shows that Rachel Loy -- the driver in yesterday's crash -- has had two "preventable" accidents in her cop car, the second one landing her a suspension.

Loy, who's been on the force since November 2006, got into her first crash in June 2007.

According to records, Loy was responding to an assault involving a man with a gun on June 15, 2007.

Driving with her lights and sirens on, she went through a red light at the intersection of East Martin Luther King Boulevard and North Seacrest Boulevard and was hit by a four-door Kia, the report says.

Neither Loy nor the passengers of the Kia were injured, but Loy was given a written reprimand.

A lieutenant's report on the matter says that the light was red for a "good 5-10 seconds" before she went through and that she went through the intersection before making sure it was clear.

"As a young and inexperienced officer this incident will be a learning experience for her," the lieutenant wrote.

The second time around, Loy was driving her patrol car around the 800 block of NW Sixth Avenue on October 29, 2007, when she ran into a garbage can and shattered her side mirror, a report says.

The garbage can was not damaged. Loy's car had $75 worth of damage, according to the records.

Since both incidents took place within six months of each other, Loy was suspended for one day.

Loy was also investigated along with another officer for breaking a police rule of acting courteously, but the claim was found to be "unfounded."

Yesterday, Boynton Beach Police Sgt. Suzanne Gitto said cops were responding to a residential burglary on the 2600 block of NE Fourth Court when they saw the suspects' vehicle driving away from the home.

Loy drove two other officers to respond to the area of the suspects, but Loy lost control of the car and smashed into a concrete light pole, Gitto said.

Loy, as well as the other officers -- George Baldino and Clayton Harris -- were stuck inside the vehicle and had to be extracted by Boynton Beach Fire Rescue and were transported to a hospital.

Harris has since been released from Delray Hospital, Gitto says, but Loy and Baldino are still there. Gitto says she will not be releasing any more updates on the officers' medical conditions or their injuries.

Harris' disciplinary history includes a 15-day suspension -- despite the police chief's recommendation that he be fired -- for drunk driving, an incident that included Harris throwing up in the back of a police car, according to internal affairs records. He was brought on to the force in August 2008.

Baldino, a Boynton Beach cop since October 2008, has no disciplinary history.

The cops arrested two of the three burglary suspects yesterday and are still looking for 21-year-old Markell Renord Hollis, who the department says goes by "Shaka."

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Matthew Hendley
Contact: Matthew Hendley