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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — Two men accused of falsely impersonating police officers and attacking detectives are speaking out for the first time, claiming they were unfairly roughed up and insisting they were conducting a legitimate investigation for the federal government.
48-year-old Alberto Nunezhorta and 51-year-old Ismael Diaz spoke with CBS4’s Peter D’Oench.
They are charged with falsely impersonating officers and aggravated battery and assault on law enforcement officers.
Miami Police arrested them after responding to the Versailles restaurant on Friday night after complaints that the two men had been there for a few days, going table to table while their service dog, a Belgium Mailnois that was with them, and bothering patrons while showing them images on their computer and iPhone.
“They were bothering patrons going table to table and showing them something on a computer and iPhone,” said Miami Police officer and spokeswoman Kenia Fallat on Monday. “We are not sure what they were showing them. That is part of the investigation and we have surveillance too that we are looking at.”
The investigation turned violent while the men were being questioned, police say, adding that Nunezhorta grabbed the neck of one detective and punched him in the face and then Diaz jumped in, punching another detective and trying to rip off his shirt.
“I tried to stop them,” said Nunezhorta. “They were pushing me and they were choking me. The police tried to rush us. We were defending ourselves. These were delinquents with badges.”
“By the time I went outside four guys rushed us and they never identified themselves,” said Diaz. “I have $4500 in my pocket and I think they are going to rob us. Four guys had my friend Alberto in a headlock. I took them off and then 4 guys rushed me and I punched them in the face. Where are the human rights, the civil rights in America?
“I punched him not once but three times. I punched him 3 times,” said Diaz. “I want to clarify that.”
Miami Police did not respond to the latest comments by the two men, saying they stood by their comments on Monday that the suspects were bothering patrons and that they unfairly attacked police first and were taken down on Southwest 8th Street.
“They broke my rib and I have water in my lung,” said Diaz. “They said ‘why did you go to Versailles for the past 3 days’ and I said ‘I have been going there for 45 years.’”
The men would not say what agency they were working for.
“We were in Versailles because we were invited there,” said Nunezhorta. “As everyone knows this is a place where a lot of people gather. I have never seen anything like this in the past where someone has been so humiliated like this. We were there getting and sharing information and that’s why I had my computer and IPhone. We were gathering information and information is worth more than money.”
“We share information and we share ideas,” he said. “We talked to people we know.”
“Who do you work for?” Asked D’Oench.
“I don’t work for anybody but I do work for everyone,” he said.
“In Miami I know everybody,” said Diaz. “I know people from top to bottom, from the best to the baddest. I was born and bred here. So obviously I know what I am doing. We were conducting a federal investigation at the restaurant. When they asked me to leave, I said ‘listen you want to know who I am? Call the F.B.I. Call Homeland Security and call the police and then you will find out who I am.’”
“I don’t work for anybody,” said Diaz. “I work for everyone and I share information. Not only am I going to fight the charges, I want to see that the people who did this to me go to jail, go to Leavenworth. My money, I am going to spend every last dollar I have making sure that justice is carried out.
“My big concern right now is my Belgium Malinois. He is worth thousands of dollars and he is at Animal Services. I have to get him out.”
Both men are themselves out of jail on $23,500 bond each.
Psychiatric evaluations have been ordered for them.
“It is called character assassination,” said Diaz. “You need to discredit someone for information they hold. It is as old as sliced bread.”
“So you are not crazy?” Asked D’Oench.
“If I am crazy,” said Diaz as he took off his sunglasses, “Why would all the generals, all these people be talking to me if I am so crazy.”
Diaz denied telling police he was a 3-star general and worked with the C.I.A.
“I never said I was a 3 star General,” he said.
“They said to me at the restaurant you have been coming here for the past 3 days,” said Diaz. “I said to them, listen you clown, I have been coming here for 45 years.”
Police say they confiscated a 2-way radio and a weapon that Diaz and Nunezhorta had with them.