MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Five Miami Beach police officers have been charged with first degree battery for allegedly using excessive force during arrests at a Miami Beach hotel.
Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle made the announcement Monday afternoon regarding the charges against police Sgt. Jose Perez, Officer Kevin Perez, Officer Robert Sabater, Officer David Rivas and Officer Steven Serrano.READ MORE: Panel Makes Building Safety Recommendations As More Condo Owners See Their Buildings In Different Light
All five officers turned themselves in earlier Monday and they were given notices to appear in court after being charged with the misdemeanors.
Fernandez Rundle condemned the use of excessive force by police. She said that does a disservice to the community the officers serve. She called their actions “alarming and disturbing.”
Miami Beach Police Chief Robert Clements said “This in no measure reflects the men and women in the Miami Beach Police Department. As an agency we can learn from this and grow from this.”
Police say it all started when officers spoke to 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup about how he had illegally parked his scooter near 9th St. and Ocean Court early in the morning of July 26. They say he fled and struck an officer who had to be hospitalized and tried to strike another officer. He was pursued to the Royal Palm Hotel.
That’s where surveillance camera video shows him dashing into an elevator. The video shows an officer ordering him at gunpoint to come out of the elevator.
The State Attorney said a total of 22 officers converged at the hotel and then she said excessive force is used as Crudup is placed in handcuffs.
She credits the Police Chief for taking action after seeing the videos.
“You see officer Kevin Perez kicking Mr. Crudup. You see him being kicked in the head. You see Kevin Perez kick him 4 times. Then you see officer Jose Perez, who is no relation to Kevin Perez, kick him three times,” said Fernandez Rundle.READ MORE: Miami Dolphins Wide Receiver Will Fuller To Miss Home Opener
She said excessive force was also used on Khalid Vaughn, a bystander who used his cell phone to take video of the arrest.
“You see officer Robert Sabater run and tackle him,” she said. “You see a bunch of punches to his rib area and kidneys. Then you see Officer David Rivas punch Mr. Vaughn in his rib cage area. And you see Officer Steven Serrano repeatedly strike him,” she explained.
All five officers have been relieved of duty with pay.
Vaughn’s mother told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench that neither she nor her son could comment right now on the advice of their attorney.
The President of their police union, the Fraternal Order of Police, urges the public not to “rush to judgement” and wait for the investigation to run its course.
Crudup still faces a series of charges including battery on a law enforcement officer and fleeing and eluding police. Police say the officer who he struck was hospitalized and then released with a brace and will have to use crutches.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber released a statement saying the video is “not who we are” and that’s why his department acted swiftly.
Last Friday, he told CBS4 “I agree with what the Chief did and what he said.” He commended the Chief for taking “appropriate action.”
Charges against Vaughn of resisting an arrest with violence and impeding a police investigation have been dropped.MORE NEWS: City Of Miramar Honors Print Shop Owner During Hispanic Heritage Month