A cellphone video of a weekend arrest in Davie has sparked an investigation by the police department following allegations of excessive force.
The video, provided to NBC 6, shows an officer arresting Nicole Pino outside Round Up Country Western Club at 9020 W. State Road 84 early Saturday.
Pino, 20, of Miami, was taken into custody on charges of disorderly conduct, battery on an officer, resisting arrest with violence and trespassing, court records show. But Pino’s friends say it was the woman’s arresting officer who was violent toward her, even though Pino was handcuffed.
Pino’s friend David Baez said the situation got so out of hand, he hit the record button on his cellphone.
"There's a moment where the cop actually grabs her head and pushes, like, hits it against the side of the car,” Baez said of the video. “And if you look at the mugshot online, her lip is busted as a result."
Baez can be heard saying in the video that he would place it on YouTube for all to see, and he subsequently did.
Nicole Pino’s mother, Vivian Pino, 49, of Miami Springs, also was arrested in the same incident, records show. The mother and daughter said in a joint statement that they want to see justice done.
“At the end of the day, this unprovoked violence cannot be tolerated, especially when it comes from police officers sworn to protect us,” they said. “We expect to be working closely with authorities to determine if there has been a history of excessive-force complaints levied against the officers in question.”
The Davie Police Department says it is looking into the matter.
The agency is “investigating the incident and will take the appropriate actions,” according to agency spokesman Capt. Dale Engle.
According to Michael Frost, one of the owners of Round Up, a male patron was “warned and ultimately escorted from Round Up’s premises for violating club policy concerning the sharing/theft of ladies’ night drinks.”
Frost said in a statement that the man was walked out the side exit of the venue for “cursing and acting in a physically threatening and belligerent manner to the staff.”
Those who were with the man that night also went out to the parking lot. They were “screaming and cursing and physically threatening our staff as they followed our security guard and their friend to the front of the venue,” Frost said.
The group was warned several times by Davie police and Round Up security to leave the premises or be arrested, but a female member of the party continued to act belligerently with police and refused to leave, according to Frost.
“Once the individual was taken into custody, the group as a whole became overtly hostile to Davie PD and Round Up staff feared for his and their own safety,” Frost said.
Nicole Pino’s friends acknowledge they did have drinks.
Several expletives are said in the video, and Round Up security guards and Davie officers also are heard asking them to move away from the scene.
But Pino’s friend Danny Uncao, also at the bar, said the officer’s action toward Nicole Pino needed to be protested.
"As soon as their cop came in, I felt victimized (and) unsafe, because he was straight up manhandling my friend and stuff,” Uncao said. “And she's a woman, and I told him, I called him out clearly on that.”
In the video, Uncao is heard telling him, “You don’t hit a woman!”
Another male’s voice is heard saying “Get the f--- out of my face now!”
Uncao said the officer then shoved him.
Vivian Pino was taken into custody by the same arresting officer on charges of disorderly conduct, resisting an officer without violence and trespassing, court records show.
Joseph Lackey, an attorney for the Pinos, questioned why such force was necessary. He said Nicole Pino was handcuffed at the time.
"Two innocent people, neither of which had any criminal histories, were treated as if they were recidivist felonious offenders,” Lackey said. “Why was so much force used to subdue a small-framed, thinly-weighted, unarmed woman who was already handcuffed?”