A Miami woman who pulled over a police officer for allegedly speeding last month says she is now being targeted for harassment by the head of a local police union.
Claudia Castillo achieved viral fame after she posted video of herself stopping officer Daniel Fonticiella, who she claimed had been traveling at 90 mph. While Fonticiella did not admit to speeding, he apologized and returned to his car.
Now, Castillo says she’s been getting threatening phone calls since Sgt. Javier Ortiz, president of Miami’s Fraternal Order of Police, posted information about her driving history, including a careless driving citation two weeks ago.
“Oh look, cop wannabe #claudiacastillo got cited for careless driving 2 weeks ago. Sounds like a #COPHater,” Ortiz wrote in one post. He also published a picture of Castillo operating a boat with a can of beer along with her phone number and business card and encouraged people to call her, according to the Miami Herald.
It surely won't be Claudia Castillo. pic.twitter.com/jZF0fz4NLL
— Miami FOP 20 (@JavierOrtizFOP) February 1, 2016
While the posts with her phone number were removed after complaints to Facebook, Castillo told Photography Is Not A Crime that her phone has not stopped ringing.
“They say, ‘Be careful what you do. You better watch your back. Be careful how you proceed. You better drive very carefully,'” she told the website.
Ortiz claims he’s done nothing wrong.
“I simply ‘shared’ information posted by another poster,” Ortiz told Miami New Times. “Ms. Castillo is all over the media voluntarily stating that no one is above the law. Clearly she has a double standard for herself.”
But some say Ortiz has crossed the line.
Filmmaker Billy Corben called the posts “cyber-bulling” and “harassment” and encouraged his own followers to report them. He also accused Ortiz of “defending bad cops and targeting those who expose them instead of addressing the problem.”
Both Castillo and Fonticiella — the police officer she stopped — separately have been involved in a number of driving incidents.
NBC News reports that Castillo has been pulled over at least 14 times since 1998 for issues including seatbelt violations, speeding and driving without a license as well as the incident two weeks ago. Most of the cases were dismissed.
Fonticiella has also had his share of traffic incidents. CBS Miami said he has been in seven crashes, although only three were deemed his fault. WSVN, the local Fox station, says he was recently recognized for his “excellent driving record.” He’s now under investigation by internal affairs as a result of the incident in Castillo’s video.
The local police chief says he doesn’t recommend that people follow Castillo’s example and attempt to pull over a police officer.
“The best way to denounce something, to launch a complaint against an officer, would be to just get the car number or badge and then call us and let us handle it,” Miami-Dade Police director Juan Perez told NBC News.