VIDEO:Officer Who Punched Miami Football Fan Cleared Of Wrongdoing

The Miami-Dade police officer whose cat-quick strike to a drunken woman’s face during a Miami Hurricanes football game earlier this month was captured on video, has been cleared of any wrongdoing.

Three weeks ago, Miami-Dade police officer Douglas Ross reacted to a backhanded slap by clearly inebriated 30-year-old Bridget Freitas as he and other officers tried to carry her out of the stands. According to a use-of-force report provided on Wednesday to The Herald, Ross’s supervisors found the 18-year police veteran’s actions were within departmental rules.

Miami-Dade police Director Juan Perez, while noting the optics were less than optimal, said the bottom line is that officers don’t distinguish between males and females when throwing a punch.

“Did it look pretty? No,” said Perez. “But he instinctively reacted to being hit in the face.”

screengrab of game
An Instagram video shows a Miami-Dade police officer striking a woman in the face while helping other cops ejecting her from a University of Miami win against Virginia Tech earlier this month. Miami-Dade police supervisors reviewed the actions of Officer Douglas Ross, left, and found he violated no department rules.

The report written by Ross’s supervisor, Sgt. Javier Baez, recounted what police said happened in the stands at Hard Rock Stadium earlier this month, when UM played a pivotal home game against Virginia Tech before its most raucous crowd in almost two decades.

According to the report, Ross and other off-duty officers in uniform responded to Section 129 to help remove Freitas, who was acting unruly, cursing and fighting with other fans. When they tried to remove her, she resisted, at one point grabbing onto the pole on the steps and refusing to leave.

Finally, four officers were able to tear her away and lift Freitas onto their shoulders. Her arms and legs unrestrained, Freitas began flailing her hands, eventually striking Ross in the left eye with a backhand after missing her attempted first slap. Ross responded immediately with a straight right hand.

The report says Ross struck Freitas in the face with an open hand and that she wasn’t injured. That’s hard to tell in the widely watched cellphone video taken by Eric Argueta, another fan in the stands. The video shows Freitas striking Ross, him responding immediately and Freitas’ head snapping backward before she collapses. But the back of the officer’s head blocks a clear view into whether the strike was with his fist or open-handed.

The department’s Internal Affairs office never opened an investigation into Ross’s actions because no one, including Freitas, filed a complaint. The Herald made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Freitas, including visiting her home in Broward County.

IMG_IMG_Bridget_Freitas__10_1_A1CQ655U_L353954581
Bridget Freitas, 30, was charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct after she struck a cop and the officer responded by striking her in the face during a University of Miami football game three weeks ago.

She was arrested the night of her confrontation with Ross and charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and disorderly conduct. Ross, who has been with the department since 1999, works in the warrants bureau. His evaluations over the years have ranged from good to excellent.

Baez’s decision was in conflict with the views of some outside use-of-force experts who said Freitas should have been restrained before the officers lifted her up. They also said an officer throwing a punch is almost always a bad idea that results in an injured suspect or the cop hurting his hand.

Perez, the police director, said department policy is to handcuff or restrain the suspect right way, but circumstances the night of the game with 63,000 fans and Freitas physically refusing orders, warranted a different response.

“In this case it did stop her,” said the director. “But we don’t encourage anyone to punch someone in the face.”

 

20 Comments on “VIDEO:Officer Who Punched Miami Football Fan Cleared Of Wrongdoing”

  1. My wife and i ended up being so lucky that Edward managed to deal with his investigations by way of the ideas he made out of the web pages. It is now and again perplexing to just be giving freely strategies which the rest have been trying to sell. And now we take into account we’ve got the writer to give thanks to for this. All the explanations you made, the straightforward blog menu, the friendships you can aid to promote – it’s got mostly powerful, and it’s letting our son in addition to our family recognize that this issue is exciting, which is certainly tremendously vital. Thank you for the whole thing!

  2. Thanks so much for giving everyone an exceptionally spectacular chance to read from this web site. It’s usually so amazing and jam-packed with a lot of fun for me and my office mates to visit your blog minimum 3 times in one week to find out the newest stuff you will have. Not to mention, I’m also always contented concerning the astonishing knowledge you serve. Some 2 facts in this article are surely the finest I have ever had.

  3. Thanks for all of your efforts on this blog. My mom delights in conducting investigations and it is easy to see why. A lot of people learn all of the lively form you deliver priceless information on the web site and as well as improve response from visitors on this issue while my daughter is in fact becoming educated so much. Have fun with the rest of the year. You are always doing a dazzling job.

  4. I don’t even know how I ended up here, but I thought this post was good. I do not know who you are but definitely you are going to a famous blogger if you aren’t already 😉 Cheers!

  5. I’ve recently started a blog, the info you offer on this site has helped me greatly. Thanks for all of your time & work. “There is a time for many words, and there is also a time for sleep.” by Homer.

  6. You could definitely see your skills within the paintings you write. The arena hopes for more passionate writers like you who aren’t afraid to mention how they believe. At all times follow your heart. “What power has law where only money rules.” by Gaius Petronius.

  7. An attention-grabbing discussion is value comment. I believe that it’s best to write more on this topic, it won’t be a taboo topic however generally individuals are not sufficient to speak on such topics. To the next. Cheers

  8. Wow! This can be one particular of the most useful blogs We have ever arrive across on this subject. Basically Excellent. I am also an expert in this topic so I can understand your effort.

  9. Very interesting details you have mentioned , thankyou for putting up. “You bluffed me I don’t like it when people bluff me. It makes me question my perception of reality.” by Andrew Schneider.

  10. Normally I do not read post on blogs, but I wish to say that this write-up very compelled me to take a look at and do so! Your writing taste has been amazed me. Thanks, quite great article.

  11. I do agree with all of the ideas you’ve presented in your post. They are very convincing and will certainly work. Nonetheless, the posts are too brief for beginners. Could you please prolong them a little from subsequent time? Thank you for the post.

  12. obviously like your web-site however you need to take a look at the spelling on quite a few of your posts. Several of them are rife with spelling issues and I in finding it very troublesome to inform the truth on the other hand I’ll certainly come again again.

  13. I simply couldn’t depart your website before suggesting that I actually loved the usual info an individual supply in your visitors? Is going to be again incessantly to investigate cross-check new posts.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *