MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – A Miami Beach detective is under investigation after he reportedly used excessive force in dealing with an intoxicated model and a man who reportedly tried to come to her rescue.
Fifty-year-old Andrew Mossberg told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that he thought he was being a Good Samaritan and was trying to stop what he thought was a purse snatching.
“I kept looking back and saw the man grabbing things out of her purse, like a wallet and a passport and even a walkie-talkie,” said Mossberg. “I thought it was a robbery and I called police. While I was on the phone, I saw her try to pull back and then he punches her in the face. He gave her a big punch.”
“She didn’t hit him first?” said D’Oench.
“I didn’t see her hit him at all,” said Mossberg. “Then she tried to pull back and he viciously kicked her leg out from under her. I called police and that must have infuriated him because he rushed me and kicked me on the side of the head while I was on the ground. Then I was punched twice more and I was knocked out. I was so surprised because I didn’t know he was a police officer until I was at the police station.”
I happened June 26th at the South Bay Club condo on West Avenue.
The concierge of the condo called the police several times to complain about a drunk woman, identified as 29-year old Megan Adamescu, who was loud, boisterous and refused to leave the lobby.
The concierge, Adrian Aponte, told D’Oench that when he picked up the phone to call the police, she grabbed it out of his hand and threw it into his chest, according to Adamescu’s arrest report.
Detective Philippe Archer, who was conducting an undercover narcotics operation about a block away, was sent to the condo. Archer was in plain clothes and driving an unmarked car, according to CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.
When Archer arrived, he identified himself as a police officer to the concierge and Adamescu and “escorted her out of the complex and walked her to the 700 block of West Avenue,” according to the report.
Archer noted in his report that Adamescu’s breath smelled of alcohol, she was unsteady on her feet and had red, watery eyes.
When he asked her for her identification, Adamescu told him she had her passport in her purse. In his report, Archer said she made several attempts to remove it but couldn’t so, “I removed her purse from her person and retrieved her passport,” according to the arrest report.
Archer noted in his report that while he ran a records check on her, Adamescu “became hostile, and belligerent and began using racial slurs” and tried to snatch her passport out of his hands several times. Archer is African-American.
Just at that point Mossberg, who was out walking his dog, saw the pair and thought Archer was trying to steal Adamescu’s purse, his lawyer Edward O’Donnell told the Miami New Times. Mossberg claims Archer never identified himself as a police officer.
When Mossberg yelled at Archer that he had just called the police, he claims the undercover officer charged him, kicked him in the head and punched him twice.
“I don’t know what he was thinking,” said Mossberg. “I am just five-foot two and 188 pounds. He didn’t need to do that.”
In his report, Archer stated that when Mossberg distracted him, Adamescu slapped him in the face. Archer, in turn, slapped her in the face which caused “her to fall to the ground and hit the back of her head,” according to her arrest report.
An attorney for Adamescu said at the time she thought her purse was being stolen and was unaware that Archer was a police officer.
“She didn’t know what was going because he was not in a uniform and didn’t show identification or a badge,” said Adamescu’s attorney Menachem Mayberg.
He told D’Oench “I’m personally outraged that a woman was brutalized. She was punched in the pace and then hit the back of her head.”
Archer wrote in his report that when he hit Adamescu, he saw that Mossberg was about to charge him. He noted that he told Mossberg to stop and when he didn’t he kicked him in the abdomen. According to Archer, when Mossberg charged again he gave him a round house kick to the shoulder, then kicked him on the right side of the face. Mossberg then fell to the ground.
When he got up, Mossberg grabbed Archer’s police radio from his hand, according to the report, and threw it into some nearby bushes. Archer states in his report, when he went to subdue Mossberg and get him on the ground, Mossberberg struck his head on the officer’s Nissan Pathfinder.
Archer finally got Mossberg to the ground and after a short struggle was able to place him in handcuffs.
Both Adamescu and Mossberg were originally charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest with violence. Additionally, Adamescu was charged with disorderly intoxication and Mossberg with obstruction of justice.
All charges, however, were dropped.
Detective Bobby Hernandez told D’Oench that neither he nor Chief Raymond Martinez could comment since there was an internal affairs investigation.
The allegations against Archer once again bring unfavorable attention to the Miami Beach Police Department.
The Miami Herald reported that Archer was one of about a dozen Miami Beach and Hialeah officers who, during the 2011 Memorial Day weekend, fired more than 100 bullets at a drunk motorist, killing him.
CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald.