South Florida

Charges Filed Against Fort Lauderdale Cop Accused of Slapping Homeless Man

Charges have been filed against the Fort Lauderdale police officer who was caught on camera pushing and slapping a homeless man, according to court documents.

The officer, Victor Ramirez, is facing three misdemeanor charges in connection with the February incident, including battery and falsification of a report.

Now that formal charges have been filed against Ramirez, the Fort Lauderdale Police Department confirmed that he has been relieved from duty without pay, pending the outcome of the criminal case, according to a police statement.

"The Fort Lauderdale Police Department will continue to offer our full cooperation to the Broward County State Attorney’s Office as we have since we first presented this for their review," the statement said.

Ramirez is scheduled to appear in court on May 18. It was unknown if he has an attorney.

Bruce Laclair, 58, was trying to use the restroom when he was arrested by Officer Victor Ramirez for trespassing.

A young woman and her fiance recorded the incident when they noticed a confrontation between the man and officer.

WARNING: YouTube video contains profanity:

"Like, oh my God, it was horrifying to think that a cop would just do that to anybody!" the 21-year-old witness said.

Fort Lauderdale police are investigating the incident and are asking the public to not jump to conclusions until the investigation is complete.

At a press conference in February, Chief Frank Adderley said Ramirez, a nine-year veteran, had never been disciplined and had three citizen complaints that were unfounded.

"It's a serious matter, one that we need to immediately respond to," Adderley said.

Ramirez was previously placed on leave before charges were filed Monday.

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