Two Miami-Dade police officers are facing charges following an investigation into footage showing one of them hitting a handcuffed suspect, prosecutors said Tuesday.
Sgt. Manuel Regueiro is being charged with misdemeanor battery in the incident involving the March 15, 2018 arrest of Bryan Crespo, prosecutors said. A second officer, Alexander Gonzalez, is being charged with tampering with evidence for allegedly trying to destroy the surveillance system that captured the incident, officials said.
"These allegations of possible abuse and misbehavior occur and undermine our efforts to increase community cooperation," Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said at a Tuesday afternoon news conference also attended by Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez.
"I am extremely disappointed by the actions of our officers," Perez said. "I hope, and I know for some it’s hard to believe, I hope this is not reflective of our department, or of law enforcement in general, but this is isolated in nature."
According to a warrant and an arrest affidavit, Crespo, who was 18 at the time, was arrested at his Miami-Dade home for allegedly stealing airbags out of vehicles.
Surveillance footage from inside Crespo's home showed officers breaking through a door and taking him into custody. As an officer is leading Crespo out of the home with his hands behind his back, Regueiro is seen smacking Crespo in the face.
Regueiro, who had been with the department for 18 years, has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the investigation, officials said. Gonzalez was recently fired.