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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — New cell phone video obtained exclusively by CBS4 shows the dramatic and tense moments around the time that two accused police impersonators are taken down and arrested outside the Versailles restaurant on Friday night.
A witness, Edian Cabrales, shared his cell phone with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, saying that the incident unfolded just after 9 p.m. at the restaurant at 3555 Southwest 8th Street.
You see and hear the suspects’ Belgian Malinois barking as the accused police impersonators are face down and handcuffed outside the restaurant.
The video shows how a routine investigation of the suspects turned into a scuffle after the two suspects allegedly attacked police detectives.
They were investigating a complaint that the two suspects and their service dog had been inside the restaurant for a few days, going table to table and claiming they were federal agents.
Miami Police officer and spokeswoman Kenia Fallat said, “They were bothering patrons going table to table showing them something on their computers and phones. We don’t know what exactly but detectives are looking at that and seeing if the men had been there before. They are also looking at surveillance video.”
“Initially three detectives walked in the restaurant and were told there were two men inside and they had a service dog,” she said. “Detectives approached the two men and asked for their credentials. There was an altercation between three detectives and the two men and additional officers were called to the scene and the two men were taken into custody.”
The cell phone video shows the suspects shouting as their dog continued barking.
One of the men had grabbed a detective by the throat and impeded them being taken into custody,” said Fallat.
Ismael Diaz, 51, allegedly claimed he was a 5-star general and with the C.I.A.
Alberto Nunezhorta, 48, reportedly claimed he was with Homeland Security.
A police report says they were at the restaurant on Wednesday and Friday of last week and had a two-way radio and firearm with them.
When they were questioned at the restaurant, they reportedly claimed they were with “National Security” and “Homeland Security.”
The men are now charged with battery on law enforcement officers, disorderly conduct and false impersonation of officers.
D’Oench spoke with them by telephone. They both claimed they were conducting an investigation for the federal government and were not allowed to comment on camera.
They could not say what agency they worked for. Nunezhorta said he was a “private contractor.”
A judge did order a psychiatric evaluation.
Customers at the Versailles restaurant expressed concern.
“This was definitely a criminal act,” said Lindsey Willis of Boca Raton.
Another Miami customer, Cristina Sarnoff, said, “This is horrible and should not be allowed. What bothers me is using the name of authority to exert power, a false power.”
Customer Frank Rodriguez said, “The problem with Miami is that there is the perfect ambiance for scams. It does bother me. They can violate your rights and take you away and intimidate you.”
A check of records showed that Diaz had been arrested before for assault and battery on 1995 and aggravated assault in 1990 and disorderly conduct in 1994 and disorderly intoxication in 1996.