A Miami Beach police detective who is in the middle of an internal affairs investigation stemming from a June 26 incident was relieved of duty with pay on Thursday pending the outcome of the probe.
Det. Philippe Archer is accused of punching two people while responding to a call at the South Bay Club on West Avenue.
According to the police report, the concierge at the condo repeatedly called police about a drunk and belligerent woman who fell asleep on the lobby couch. Archer escorted 29-year-old Megan Adamescu from the building to the sidewalk where Archer asked for identification. Adamescu struggled to find her passport at which time Archer took the purse to find the passport.
Adamescu's attorney, Menachem Mayberg, says Archer never identified himself as an officer, as he was in plain clothes and unmarked vehicle. Mayberg's client says she thought her purse was being stolen.
As all this unfolded, 50-year-old Andrew Mossberg was walking his dog with his 12-year-old son.
Mossberg says he saw the confrontation and thought it was just a girlfriend/boyfriend tiff. Mayberg says he then saw Archer swing with a closed right hand striking Adamescu in the face knocking her to the ground. He called the police non-emergency line and yelled to Archer that police were on the way. He says Archer then ran towards him and attacked him.
According to the police report, Archer claimed to point to his badge and made his gun visible identifying himself as a law enforcement officer.
Both Mossberg and Adamescu's attorney say at no time did Archer identify himself as such.
“The Miami Beach Police Department takes all allegations of officer misconduct seriously and will ensure that a full and thorough review of the incident in question is conducted," Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez said in a statement.
The Miami Beach Fraternal Order of Police are standing by Det. Archer, saying he was justified in his actions.
"There's a perception that there was something was done wrong and that's not the facts. The facts are there was enough probable cause to make the arrest and we feel he justified in using force," Miami Beach FOP President Alex Bello said.
Archer is also one of roughly a dozen Miami Beach and Hialeah officers who fired more than 100 bullets at a drunk motorist, killing him during Memorial Day weekend in 2011.
Bello said this is now the detective's second internal affairs investigation. In a previous one, he was found not guilty. Archer was also named in a lawsuit after a shooting in Hialeah in 2011. In 13 years, he's made more than 1,400 arrests and has used force 36 times.
Mossberg and Adamescu were arrested on a series of violations. All charges have been dropped.
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