Off-duty cop kicks pregnant woman in the stomach, charged with felony assault
A pregnant Evoni Murray was attacked by a police officer, Ambar Pacheco, from the North Miami Beach department as she walked with her sister on July 25
A police officer from the North Miami Beach department has been charged after attacking a pregnant woman. 26-year-old Ambar Pacheco was arrested on the night of July 25 by officers from the Miami Beach Police Department. She has been accused of kicking a "visibly pregnant woman" who was already in her eighth month of pregnancy in the stomach. Pacheco reportedly told the Miami Beach officers: "I saw red and beat the s**t out of her." According to the arrest report, Pacheco told the arresting officers that the woman's boyfriend "kicked her sister in the face". The woman was identified as Evoni Murray soon after the incident and it was reported that the attack on her was completely unprovoked.
CBS4 Miami reported that Murray and her boyfriend happened to spot Pacheco and her sister Mikaela while they were both drunk on the street that evening. Pacheco has since been charged with a felony count of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim. The arrest report that was obtained by the Miami New Times states that Murray had been experiencing severe abdominal pain and contractions by the time the MBPD arrived at the scene.
Murray has denied that Joseph Predelus Jr., her boyfriend, kicked the off-duty police officer's sister in the face like they claim. The incident took place on the corner of Washington Avenue and Espanola Way. She said: "We were walking down the sidewalk enjoying the night and we saw them. 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."
The pregnant woman was rushed to the Mount Sinai Hospital on July 25 by the Miami Beach Fire Rescue and she successfully delivered a healthy baby boy. She told CBS4's Peter D'Oench that she had named her infant son Joseph Predelus III. The authorities wrote in the arrest report that Pacheco did not deny that she had attacked Murray that night.
Murray said: "It kind of troubles me to know that the people who are supposed to be serving and protecting us are hurting us. I know it's not all of them and one bad apple doesn’t spoil the bunch. It’s just that sometimes you get a bad seed. I am pretty overwhelmed that the incident had to happen. 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."
Richard Rand, the North Miami Beach Police Major, told the Daily Mail in an interview that Pacheco had been off-duty at the time of the encounter and that the department has launched their own investigation into the matter. Rand said that Pacheco had been a uniformed police officer with the department for less than a year. She has currently been relieved of her duties and is pending an internal affairs review. As of July 26 morning, she was placed on paid leave.
North Miami Beach officer Ambar Pacheco arrested & accused of kicking an 8 mo pregnant woman in her stomach.— Eric Yutzy (@EricYutzy) July 26, 2018
She’s charged w/ a felony & has been relieved of duty pending investigation.
The victim gave birth to a healthy baby shorty after the attack. https://t.co/B0KW6ayoLu pic.twitter.com/6l2MRFZScl
Rand could not discuss any more of the case because the incident had been turned over to the internal affairs department. The investigation will focus on finding out if any policies and procedures were violated on that day. The Miami Beach Police Department, the department that arrested Pacheco, has been investigating the actual attack.
Even though the authorities have arrested and booked Pacheco on a felony charge of aggravated battery on a pregnant victim, the state attorney's office can take up to 21 days to make a decision on whether they want to pursue those charged in a court.