Miami-Dade police officers were infuriated that Brian Crespo was stealing airbags from cars, so they raided his South Florida home and arrested him, leading him out in handcuffs.
A security video shows Miami-Dade Sergeant Manuel Regueiro storming up to him as he was being led out of his house and striking the handcuffed man in the face.
“This is for the airbags you stole, you pussy,” Crespo said he heard somebody say after the punch.
Once outside, Crespo informed them that his security camera recorded the incident, prompting Miami-Dade police officer Alexander Gonzalez to walk back into the house with two other officers and tamper with the camera, cutting wires and stealing a battery pack.
Now both Reguerio and Gonzalez have been criminally charged; Reguerio with misdemeanor battery, Gonzalez with third-degree felony tampering with evidence as well as misdemeanor petty theft, according to the Miami Herald.
Gonzalez thought he was being slick but he proved to be an idiot because he had removed the camera’s battery pack when he apparently believed he was removing a hard drive containing the video.
Although Gonzalez succeeded in turning the camera off, allowing him to walk out of the house unrecorded by the security camera, a neighbor’s security camera captured him taking a rectangular object, wrapped in a pillowcase, from the home and placing it his police SUV, the Herald reported.
Crespo is also an idiot for even telling them he had the camera in the first place because he would have lost the evidence had Gonzalez not been such an idiot himself.
And then there’s Regueiro, the biggest thug of them all, the sergeant who was leading the raid, leading by criminal example.
Regueiro’s attorney said the cop struck Crespo because the suspect was going to spit on him, a common tactic cops use to justify these incidents because it’s difficult to disprove, even if it’s caught on camera.
But in this case, the grainy video shows Regeuiro storming up to Crespo, who was not even looking in his direction as he was being led out, then striking him.
Another cop, Miami-Dade Lieutenant Michael Landestoy, has been suspended with pay because he claimed nothing had been impounded that day despite Gonzalez walking out with the battery pack.
Then there’s Miami-Dade police officer Jennifer Alvarez, who witnessed the incident, but claimed she saw nothing.
She also claimed they received permission from Crespo’s stepfather to search the house, but a body cam video shows he only gave them permission to search the shed, indicating they didn’t even have a search warrant, only an arrest warrant.
In 2009, a woman named Sarah Myles accused Regeuiro and other officers of fabricating evidence against her. She also said Regeuiro broke her wrist by tackling her, according to the Miami New Times.
Her charges were dropped in 2011. It does not appear as if Regeuiro was ever investigated of disciplined.
Regeuiro was never jailed for the latest charge. Gonzalez was quickly jailed, then released.
The theft of airbags from vehicles apparently is a lucrative trade in the criminal underworld.