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CORAL GABLES (CBSMiami) — A Coral Gables Police officer has been charged with domestic violence.
The Coral Gables City Attorney tells CBS4 that he want the public to now that the officer is no longer acting as an officer because he has been suspended.
Manny Rivero, 39, who has been with the Coral Gables Police Department for more than 17 years, was arrested following a domestic dispute with his wife.
City Attorney Craig Leen said, “We view this as very serious and we want the public to know that Officer Rivero is suspended. He is not acting as a police officer. But there is a criminal investigation that must go forward with Officer Rivero and the Officers’ bill of rights is involved and the city can’t just rush to judgement. There is a due process and a criminal procedure. These are serious charges but we must keep all options open in conjunction with what happens with the State Attorney.”
According to the arrest report, a verbal dispute started between her and Rivero, prompting her to leave their home. She later returned when she realized she left her cellphone.
Upon her return, witnesses say, Rivero “began to pull her as she frantically screamed, ‘Call the police, he’s hitting me, he always hit me.'”
He reportedly pushed her in the head area several times with his free hand during the altercation and then dragged her by the arm into their garage.
Witnesses said they could hear muffled screaming as one of the neighbors called police.
Minutes later, Rivero came out with his wife and they both got into their car. Witnesses said the woman’s hair was disheveled and had minor injuries to her neck.
Officers eventually arrested Rivero.
Police say Rivero denied physically touching his wife and said he didn’t notice any injuries on her.
Investigators noticed he had a large injury on his neck stretching to his clavicle area. When they questioned him about it, he said he got the injury while trying to get a ball out of a tree.
Rivero has since been charged with domestic battery.
CBS4’s Peter D’Oench went door-to-door speaking with neighbors. Some told him off-camera that they were upset about the latest incident and the previous charges against him. No one came to the front door of Rivero’s home when D’Oench knocked. There is a for-sale sign outside his home.
After an appearance in court, bond for Rivero was set at $2,500. He will be on house arrest and have to wear an ankle monitoring bracelet.
On June 17th, Rivero was charged with domestic violence against his wife after an incident at the Shoppes at Sunset Place in South Miami. He was placed on administrative leave with pay and had to turn in his badge, gun and vehicle. Police were also investigating his use of a marked car while leaving the area.
In April of 2016, Rivero was charged with misdemeanor battery and domestic battery by strangulation which is a third-degree felony. A police report said Rivero grabbed his wife by the throat and caused her face to hit a door frame. He also reportedly grabbed her by the neck again and pushed her into a closet. A police report said they have two children.
According to our CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald, Rivero had a restraining order against him after that incident but the newspaper said his wife asked that the restraining order be lifted and the State Attorney’s office did not pursue charges.
So far there’s been no comment by the Coral Gables Fraternal Order of Police or the police union.