Coral Gables

Congressman's Son Allegedly Slaps Miami Commissioner at Coral Gables Restaurant

Carlos J. Gimenez, Rep. Carlos Gimenez's son, reportedly slapped Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla while he was having lunch

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Police are investigating after Rep. Carlos Gimenez's son allegedly slapped Miami Commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla at a Coral Gables restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

The incident happened at Morton's Steakhouse in the area of Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Miracle Mile.

Carlos Julio Gimenez, 44, was booked into jail Wednesday evening and was charged with simple battery.

Carlos J. Gimenez

Gimenez was released on bond Thursday and briefly spoke with reporters on his way out of jail.

"No, I don't need to defend myself," he said.

The police chief said in a news conference Wednesday that "there was literally a passing" and the two had been on opposite sides of the restaurant. The charge indicates Gimenez slapped Diaz de la Portilla either on his back or the back of his head.

An arrest report released Thursday said Gimenez allegedly approached Diaz de la Portilla from behind and asked "Hey pu---, do you remember me?" before hitting him.

A Miami police officer, who works security for the commissioner, quickly detained Gimenez after the incident, police said.

NBC 6's Julia Bagg has more from the arrest of the son of South Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez.

"It was more like a flick of the wrist from behind me when I was having lunch as he cowardly approached me from behind and ran away," the commissioner said in a statement. "This guy is not known as a very courageous guy. Actually, he's quite a coward and appeared to be under the influence."

Police could not confirm whether Gimenez was under the influence. Police said they were collecting several witness statements.

Gimenez had his own response to the commissioner's statement.

"No, I will not respond to comments of a corrupt politician," he said.

A video obtained by NBC 6, courtesy of Only in Dade, showed police activity outside the restaurant at the time of the incident.

Carlos Gimenez Sr. released a brief statement Thursday.

“I am aware of the incident surrounding my son’s arrest. This is a personal matter and do not have any further comment," the statement read.

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