Officials: 3 Florida officers charged in separate incidents

Jan 12, 2022, 5:19 PM | Updated: 5:36 pm

MIAMI (AP) — Three South Florida police officers are facing criminal charges in separate incidents: two accused of using excessive force during arrests and the other accused of purposefully shooting a fellow officer with a Taser stun gun.

Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle announced the charges Wednesday at a news conference.

“Excessive force can never be an acceptable foundation for the policing of any community,” Fernandez Rundle said. “Officers who forget that, they do a great disservice to the people they have sworn to serve. They do great harm to their department, and they belittle hard work that each of their fellow officers tries to accomplish in their community.”

This past September, Opa-locka Police Capt. Sergio Perez asked a sergeant in the department if he wanted to be certified to use a new Taser, according to an arrest report. Despite the sergeant repeatedly telling Perez that he did not, Perez fired the weapon at the sergeant, striking him in the side, officials said.

The Taser was loaded with a training cartridge that didn’t inflict a shock, but it still left two wounds on the sergeant’s abdomen. The report said the training cartridges are only supposed to be shot at someone wearing a special training suit. Investigators said Perez was not a certified Taser trainer.

Perez faces a charge of misdemeanor battery.

In March 2020, Miami Gardens police officer Javier Castano was one of several officers to respond to a complaint about a vehicle doing donuts in a gas station parking lot, according to a report. Prosecutors released body camera footage that appears to show Castano kicking a man who was already subdued on the ground in the head and putting a knee to the man’s neck.

Castano faces two counts of misdemeanor battery.

In July 2020, Miami-Dade police officer Joseph Diaz responded to reports of a shirtless, intoxicated man yelling in an apartment complex parking lot, according to an arrest warrant. Body camera footage shows Diaz initially allow the man to leave and go to his nearby home. But after the man called Diaz a derogatory name while walking away, Diaz called the man back and took him into custody, officials said.

Investigator said that the sworn report that Diaz wrote after the arrest didn’t match the events shown in the body camera footage.

Diaz faces charges of felony official misconduct and misdemeanor battery.

Online court and jail records didn’t list attorney for the officers.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


FILE - In this Saturday, Oct. 1, 2011 file photo, Associated Press Special Regional Correspondent f...
Associated Press

Hope and despair: Kathy Gannon on 35 years in Afghanistan

KABUL, Afghanistan (AP) — The Afghan policeman opened fire on us with his AK-47, emptying 26 bullets into the back of the car. Seven slammed into me, and at least as many into my colleague, Associated Press photographer Anja Niedringhaus. She died at my side. Anja weighed heavy against my shoulder. I tried to look […]
23 hours ago
FILE - In this Monday, Nov. 18, 2019 file photo, the logo of Google is displayed on a carpet at the...
Associated Press

Google to erase more location info as abortion bans expand

Google will automatically purge information about users who visit abortion clinics or other places that could trigger legal problems now that the U.S. Supreme Court has opened the door for states to ban the termination of pregnancies.
23 hours ago
FILE - President Joe Biden, center, meets with South Korea's President Yoon Suk Yeol, left, and Jap...
Associated Press

North Korea slams US-South Korea-Japan military cooperation

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — North Korea on Sunday slammed the United States, South Korea and Japan for pushing to boost their trilateral military cooperation targeting the North, warning that the move is prompting urgent calls for the country to reinforce its military capability. North Korea has long cited what it calls hostility by the […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Uvalde School Police Chief Pete Arredondo, second from left, stands during a news conference...
Associated Press

Uvalde schools’ police chief resigns from City Council

The Uvalde school district’s police chief has stepped down from his position in the City Council just weeks after being sworn in following allegations that he erred in his response to the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School that left 19 students and two teachers dead. Chief Pete Arredondo said in a letter dated Friday […]
23 hours ago
Cleveland Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson throws a pass during an NFL football practice at FirstE...
Associated Press

Attorneys seek Deshaun Watson NFL investigation documents

AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — Attorneys for multiple women suing Deshaun Watson over allegations of sexual misconduct are seeking the documents from the NFL’s investigation into the former Houston Texans quarterback. According to the motion filed Friday by the women’s attorneys, Tony Buzbee and Cornelia Brandfield-Harvey, the legal team seeks any and all reports and files […]
23 hours ago
FILE - Argentina's Economy Minister Martin Guzman walks outside of the International Monetary Fund,...
Associated Press

Argentine economy minister resigns amid peso, diesel woes

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina (AP) — Argentina’s economy minister resigned unexpectedly Saturday, dealing a fresh blow to the government of President Alberto Ferández as the country struggles with economic problems. Martín Guzmán stepped down after a week in which Argentina’s currency hit an all-time low against the dollar amid sizzling inflation and truck drivers staged protests […]
23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Carla Berg, MHS, Deputy Director, Public Health Services, Arizona Department of Health Services

Update your child’s vaccines before kindergarten

So, your little one starts kindergarten soon. How exciting! You still have a few months before the school year starts, so now’s the time to make sure students-to-be have the vaccines needed to stay safe as they head into a new chapter of life.
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
Officials: 3 Florida officers charged in separate incidents