Colorado Officer was Called “Incompetent” Before Patrol Car was Hit by Train Seriously Injuring Suspect

The Platteville Police Department hired the officer directly from another agency, where he had come under intense criticism from both subordinates and commanders, who expressed deep and ongoing concerns about his ability as a police officer.

The Platteville, CO, police sergeant who left his patrol vehicle on railroad tracks last month with a handcuffed prisoner inside was hired by Platteville even though a commander at his previous department recommended he be demoted, his colleagues labeled him "incompetent" and another officer said Sgt. Pablo Vazquez "has a dangerous lack of radio awareness."

The patrol vehicle was hit by a freight train during the Sept. 16 incident. The road rage suspect locked inside was seriously injured.

As prosecutors weigh possible criminal charges, a CBS News Colorado investigation reveals a troubled past at previous departments Vazquez worked at, including how colleagues felt about him.

But despite those concerns, the Platteville Police Department hired Vazquez directly from the Federal Heights Police Department, where he had come under intense criticism from both subordinates and commanders, who expressed deep and ongoing concerns about his ability as a police officer.

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