A Florida cop was arrested for kicking a pregnant woman in the stomach and forcing her into early labor, police say.
North Miami Beach police officer Ambar Pacheco, 26, was arrested on Wednesday night in connection with the violent assault, according to the Miami New Times.
The victim, Evoni Murray, told WFOR-TV in Miami that she and her boyfriend Joseph Predelus Jr., were casually strolling in South Beach when they ran into Pacheco and her sister Mikaela.
“We were walking down the sidewalk enjoying the night and we saw them,” she told the station. “These girls were crying. Then they thought we were talking about them which was not true. They got belligerent and tried to jump (us) because they thought I said something. If it weren’t for Joseph it could have been a lot more serious.”
There is some contention about what happened next, but a police report said Murray was kicked in the stomach. Pacheco told police that Predelus kicked her sister in the face, which Murray told WFOR-TV was untrue.
“There is no way that my boyfriend kicked the officer’s sister in the face if she was not doing anything,” she told the station. “In fact, my boyfriend was trying to restrain the younger lady from doing anything to me or his child.”
Pacheco - who's 5'3'' and 125 pounds - told police, "I saw red and beat the sh-t out of her." She said she kicked someone but couldn't remember who, according to a police report cited by WFOR-TV.
Rescue workers responded to the scene and transported Murray to the hospital where she gave birth.
Murray's baby was originally due in August, she said. Her son, Joseph Predelus III, was fine.
“I’m just happy he is a healthy baby,” she said.
Pacheco has worked as a uniformed patrol officer for the North Miami Beach Police Department for less than a year, spokesperson Major Richard Rand told he Miami New Times.
"She's been relieved of duty as of this morning pending an internal investigation," he told the paper.
Pacheco was charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant victim - a second-degree felony. She faces a maximum of 15 years in prison, according to WFOR-TV.
Murray said she hopes Pacheco can get help.
“I am pretty overwhelmed that the incident had to happen you know," she told WFOR-TV. "We forgive but we never forget but we do forgive. I just hope that she gets her life together and gets the help that she needs.”
[Photo: Miami Beach Police]