Coral Gables police officer Manny Rivero was arrested on August 16 for allegedly beating his wife. Rivero, 39, faces a domestic battery charge.
He was held at Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center overnight and was released on $2,500 bond. A judge ordered him to remain under house arrest and issued a restraining order to keep him away from his wife. The press did not say if he has acquired an attorney.
According to the arrest report, the alleged battery occurred on Wednesday at Rivero’s home. A neighbor reportedly saw Rivero grab his wife by the arm outside their home. The neighbor and two other witnesses told police that they heard her scream, “Call the police, he[‘s] hitting me, he always hits me,” before Rivero repeatedly struck her on the head, the report said.
Rivero then pulled his wife into their garage and closed the door, but the neighbors said they could still hear screaming. Several minutes later, Rivero was seen in his vehicle with his wife in the passenger side. She reportedly had scrapes in the neck area and her hair appeared disheveled. Rivero later told investigators that he only had a verbal argument with his wife. He said he got the cut on his neck earlier in the day when he tried to get a ball out of a tree in his yard. He was arrested and taken into police custody.
Rivero has been on the Coral Gables force for 18 years. Sources say he has received several positive performance reviews and occasional commendations since he joined the force, but his record is marred by domestic disputes.
He was arrested and charged with misdemeanor battery and domestic battery by strangulation in April last year, according to an arrest report filed at the time. His wife called police to report a domestic violence allegation. She said Rivero grabbed her by the throat and struck her face at a door frame in their bedroom and then pushed her into a closet. Rivero was placed on administrative leave after the charges were filed and the state attorney’s office started an investigation.
Less than two weeks later, his wife sent a letter to prosecutors recanting her statement. The state attorney’s office refused to prosecute the case “without the victim’s cooperation” and closed the investigation because the case “cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.” Rivero was reinstated and was ordered to undergo mandatory counseling.
He was placed on leave with pay again in June because of another domestic violence allegation. Details of the incident were not immediately available, but the state attorney’s office and South Miami police reportedly launched another investigation. An internal affairs investigation was also launched to look into Rivero’s use of a marked police car at the time of the incident.
It is unclear how the new domestic battery charge against Rivero will factor into the June investigation, but the Coral Gables Police Chief told the press that he was made aware of Rivero’s arrest and is considering a change in his status within the department.
Source: 8.17.17 Manny Rivero Arrested on Domestic Violence Allegation.pdf