A Miami firefighter was suspended two months after he was seen on video punching a man that was handcuffed to a gurney. The man was at the Jackson Memorial Hospital at the time of the incident. But he is not likely to be prosecuted, according to a law enforcement source that is familiar with the ongoing investigation.
The name of the firefighter has yet to be released, but he was relieved of duty after the October 15th incident. According to a police report, 29 year-old Antonio Crews, who was a homeless man, had been taken to the hospital after Miami fire rescue stated he had consumed heroin and cocaine. He then instigated several fights, spitting on the face of the firefighter.
In the video, the firefighter can be seen standing at a mirrored desk not far from other firefighters and police officers that were wheeling cruise through the corridor. Cruz then appears to look toward the firefighter and says something.
Firefighter Punches Man Who Spit at Him
“This man was belligerent. He was screaming names. Then he spit at the firefighter,” a law enforcement source stated. The firefighter then immediately responded by punching him several times at least two of which appear to connect the man who was handcuffed to the gurney. Officers intervened by pulling the firefighter away and pushed the man towards the door in the hallway. According to Cruz’s arrest report, his spit struck the firefighter on the right side of his face, which caused the firefighter to hit Cruise with a closed fist.
Cruz was officially charged with aggravated battery of a law enforcement officer. According to Miami-Dade correction records, he remained in jail two months after the incident. Miami fire rescue did release a statement about the incident saying that there was an internal investigation underway.
According to Telemundo 51, they were able to identify the firefighter as Robert Webster. The Miami Herald was also able to confirm the identity, but he had told the station that he didn’t regret his actions.
“If he never learned the consequences of spitting in a grown man’s face, then consider my actions a public education and this video a public service announcement,” Webster stated.