5 cops in Miami Seashore are confronted with battery fees after being grossly arrested
MIAMI BEACH, Florida. – Five Miami Beach police officers are charged in connection with the gross arrest of two men last week, Miami-Dade prosecutor Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Monday.
The prosecutor said the offenses were first degree and further charges could be brought as the investigation continues.
Those charges are Sgt. Jose Perez, Officer Kevin Perez (unrelated to Jose Perez), Officer Robert Sabater, Officer David Rivas, and Officer Steven Serrano.
A surveillance video released Monday by the Royal Palm Hotel prosecutor’s office showed Sgt. Jose Perez kicked Dalonta Crudup three times before banging his head into the ground, even though Crudup was already handcuffed. Fernandez Rundle also showed body-worn camera footage, which she believes helped reveal the incident.
WATCH: Miami-Dade District Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle holds press conference on officers’ arrests:
Fernandez Rundle said Officer Kevin Perez kicked Crudup, 24, at least four times, according to the video.
She said the video showed Khalid Vaughn filming the incident about 3 to 4 meters away and backing away as officers approached him, but Sabater stormed up to him, grabbed him to the ground and hit him repeatedly.
She said the officers cornered Vaughn and he was repeatedly beaten by Rivas and Serrano.
According to a police report, officers alleged they were trying to stop Crudup, who was driving a blue scooter for illegal parking last Monday, and said the man hit an officer with the scooter as he left the scene.
Cell phone footage caught officials surrounding the Royal Palm Hotel, where police reportedly caught up with the man and things went physical.
“I was beaten, I was sewn, I went to the hospital,” Crudup said.
He told Local 10 News that he was actually on a scooter, but claimed he did not park illegally and never hit an officer.
Miami Beach police officers are charged after gross arrest
“He withdrew when he asked and the police came out of nowhere for no reason,” said Sharif Cobb, who was also arrested.
Cobb, 27, said he started taping the incident on his cell phone along with Vaughn.
“I’ve started recording it. They have already handcuffed him. They hit him, turned around, stormed me down, hit me… hit me, elbowed me in the face, ”Vaughn said. “I was literally ambushed by officers.”
According to a police report, 28-year-old Vaughn was arrested for obstructing, provoking and harassing officers.
Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements released a statement last week saying he had reviewed the video related to the arrests and decided to open the internal investigation and asked the Miami-Dade prosecutor’s office to do another review perform.
“I have serious concerns about the violence that was used after Mr. Crudup was arrested, including the level of violence that was used in the subsequent arrest of Mr. Vaughn,” said Clements. “This is not an indication of the hardworking men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department and will not be tolerated.”
On Monday, Clements told reporters that the police are learning from this incident and will do better in the future.
All five officers were fired in the course of the investigation.
“I appreciate the efforts of the Miami-Dade district attorney and our own police force,” said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber in a statement Monday. “The video is not what we are, so our department took decisive action within hours of the incident.”
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