Where is Yareni Rios-Gonzalez now? Explained

By Kieran Burt
Published: September 12, 2023 (Last updated: last month)
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Where is Yareni Rios-Gonzalez now

Where is Yareni Rios-Gonzalez now? We explain where she is now and what happened to her. This article contains details that some readers might find distressing.

Yareni Rios-Gonzalez is a young woman who, in September, experienced a horrible event. She was being detained by the police on a train track when disaster struck. One of the officers had parked their car on the tracks, and Rios-Gozalez was put into the car. A train smashed through the car, severely injuring Rios-Gonzalez.

Rios-Gonzalez is now suing the cops involved, attempting to get damages from them. The cops are also facing criminal charges. It’s a shocking event and one that has left Rios-Gonzalez in an awful position.

Who is Yareni Rios-Gonzalez, and what happened to her?

Yareni Rios-Gonzalez is a 21-year-old who, on September 16, 2022, suffered serious injuries because of a horrible accident involving the police. She was pulled over from driving because she was accused of pointing a gun at another driver. Her pickup truck was pulled over on a rural road near some train tracks by Pablo Vazquez, an officer who worked for the police department in the nearby city of Platteville in Wisconsin. Trains pass on these tracks about a dozen times a day and often sound their horns.

Pablo Vazquez requested backup and was joined by Officer Jordan Steinke from Fort Lupton Police Department (FLPD), who reportedly drove at around 100 mph on her way to back up Vazquez.

She parked her patrol car behind Vazquez’s and, in court, testified that she was surprised that Vazquez was sitting in his vehicle rather than pointing a gun at Rios-Gonzalez’s truck.

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The pair ordered Rios-Gonzalez to step outside and kneel next to the tracks. Steinke said that she didn’t notice the tracks on the ground at any point, though when pressed in court, Steinke said, “I am sure I saw the tracks, sir, but I did not perceive them.” She added she was focused on the situation at hand and the potential threat that Rios-Gonzalez posed.

Unfortunately, a train tore through the police car that Rios-Gonzalez was in and gave her substantial injuries. She suffered nine broken ribs, a broken arm, broken teeth, and back and leg injuries. She also sustained severe head trauma and memory loss.

Where is Yareni Rios-Gonzalez now?

Rios-Gonzalez is still recovering from the injuries that she gained. Her lawyer, Paul Wilkinson, said that back in April, Rios-Gonzalez was recovering well physically.

In June, Yareni Rios-Gonzalez entered a no-contest plea for her actions on September 16 and received a one-year probation. Rios-Gonzalez is also pursuing litigation against the cops who stopped her.

What settlement did Yareni Rios-Gonzalez receive?

In January, Rios-Gonzalez sued the police and their departments to seek compensation for what she argued was mishandling behavior during the incident. Another officer, Ryan Thomeczek, from FLPD, was also named in Rios-Gonzalez’s suit for failing to help her escape as the train approached.

Both cities have shown an interest in pursuing a settlement outside of court. Wilkinson hasn’t disclosed the amount they are seeking, but according to his court filing, the cumulative damages from the incident have exceeded $5 million. Rios-Gonzalez wants to get the maximum insurance payout from both cities. According to Wilkinson, he explained that what he was doing was allowing the cities to protect themselves and that if he wanted to, he could get a payout bigger than the insurance they had.

In a separate criminal trial, Jordan Steinke was found guilty of two misdemeanors, third-degree assault and reckless endangerment, in July 2023. Pablo Vazquez also faces criminal charges, misdemeanors of reckless endangerment, and traffic offenses, though at the time of writing, his trial has yet to take place. His pre-trial conference is set for September 14.

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