Police officer Ambar Pacheco of North Miami Beach was arrested on July 25 for allegedly kicking an expectant mother in the stomach. The pregnant woman was identified as Evoni Murray; she went into premature labor and was rushed to Mt. Sinai hospital.
Pacheco, 26, is charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman. News sources did not say if she has hired an attorney.
According to the arrest report, the alleged battery occurred in South Beach along Washington Avenue at around 8:30 p.m. on Wednesday. Pacheco and her sister Mikaela, 21, reportedly got into a confrontation with Murray, 27, and her boyfriend Joseph Predelus, 40. The exact cause of the altercation is unclear.
Ambar Pacheco purportedly told police that Predelus kicked her sister in the face. She “saw red and beat the s… out of [Murray],” the report said. She later clarified that she didn’t know who she kicked “but she kicked somebody.”
Murray told CBS4 Miami that she and Predelus were walking down Washington Avenue when they encountered Pacheco and her sister.
“We were walking down the sidewalk enjoying the night and we saw them,” she said. “These girls were crying. Then they thought we were talking about them, which was not true. They got belligerent and tried to jump because they thought I said something. If it weren’t for Joseph, it could have been a lot more serious.”
Police who arrived on the scene reported that Murray was feeling severe pain in the stomach and was possibly having contractions. She was transported to Mt. Sinai Hospital were she prematurely gave birth to a healthy baby boy.
Murray said she hopes Pacheco “gets her life together and gets the help that she needs,” CBS4 Miami reports. She is certain her boyfriend didn’t kick Pacheco’s sister in the face and said that Predulus was actually “trying to restrain the younger lady from doing anything to me or his child.”
Pacheco has been relieved of duty pending an internal affairs investigation. She has been working with the North Miami Beach Police Department for less than a year. Court records show she has had one previous arrest in the county for petit theft when she was 18.
“Due to Ms. Ambar Pacheco’s recent off-duty actions, her employment with the City of North Miami Beach has been terminated effective immediately,” Chief William Hernandez said in a statement to the press on Friday.
Aggravated battery on a pregnant woman is a second-degree felony with penalties that include up to fifteen years in prison, fifteen years probation, and a $10,000 fine. The minimum sentence is 21 months unless there are reasons for a shorter sentence.
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