North Miami Police Officer Jonathan Aledda fired three shots at a severely autistic man holding a silver toy truck.
He insisted he had to “take a life to save another.”
Nearly three years after firing at Arnaldo Rios Soto — missing and hitting his caretaker laying on the ground with his hands thrust in the air — the North Miami cop told his story for the first time publicly. Aledda, charged with attempted manslaughter, took the witness stand in his own defense to try and prove he did nothing wrong.
He said he believed Rios, sitting on a roadway, had a gun and even pointed it at other officers surrounding him during a tense standoff on a blazing afternoon in July 2016. Aledda swore he never heard another officer who radioed the object was a toy. And he insisted that he legitimately thought caretaker Charles Kinsey was Rios’ hostage.
“At that point, I had to fire my shot. I thought the black male was going to get executed,” Aledda told jurors, adding: “My heart was pounding out of my chest. I’ve never been in the position to take a life to save another.”
Read more at our news partner, the Miami Herald.