Five Miami Beach police officers are facing criminal charges after the rough arrests of two men at a hotel last week that were caught on camera, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office said Monday.
State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said the five officers are facing first-degree misdemeanor battery charges in the July 26 incident at the Royal Palm Hotel.
They were identified as Sgt. Jose Perez, Officer Kevin Perez, Officer Robert Sabater, Officer David Rivas and Officer Steven Serrano.
Fernandez Rundle released officer body-worn footage and footage from the hotel lobby that showed officers kicking a handcuffed suspect and repeatedly punching another man who was filming the first man's arrest on his cellphone.
"We're all really horrified by it," Fernandez Rundle told reporters at a news conference Monday afternoon. "When we see this, it’s alarming, it’s disturbing, nobody wants this to happen including police departments themselves."
The incident began when officials said officers approached 24-year-old Daltona Crudup for parking a scooter illegally on 9th Street and Ocean Court.
Crudup fled from officers and struck an officer with the scooter, officials said. The officer had to be hospitalized with a leg injury that required crutches.
While trying to get away, Crudup ran into the lobby of the hotel on Collins Avenue, where officers took him into custody.
The footage released Monday showed Crudup run into an elevator at the hotel, where he had been staying. Right behind him was an officer who took him into custody at gunpoint.
But moments later, several more officers responded and Crudup was kicked in the head multiple times while he was on the ground and in handcuffs, Fernandez Rundle said.
A second man, 28-year-old Khalid Vaughn, started taking video of Crudup’s arrest with his phone, and was arrested on charges of resisting an officer and interfering with a law enforcement investigation, officials said.
Body-worn footage showed an officer tackling Vaughn before another officer is seen repeatedly punching him in the rib cage area, Fernandez Rundle said.
The charges were dropped against Vaughn.
The five officers were placed on administrative leave following the incident, and all surrendered to face the charges, officials said. They have been suspended and more charges could be filed, Fernandez Rundle said.
"It was disheartening to see the way our officers responded," Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said Monday. "As an agency we will learn from this and we will grow from this.
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