A ‘heavily intoxicated’ Miami-Dade Schools Police sergeant repeatedly struck, resisted and cursed at two Doral Police officers, knocked their body cameras off them, wrestled with an officer on the ground while handcuffed and taunted him to call for backup, according to video and police records.
But Sgt. Dubraska Guevara, 33, wasn’t arrested that April 24 night. Nor does she face charges in the incident.
Instead, Doral officers uncuffed the sergeant and let her go home.
None of those details were included in the Doral Police report about the incident.
Now the incident and Guevara’s conduct are being reviewed by Miami-Dade Schools Police. But experts said it raises questions about whether the sergeant was shown preferential treatment by fellow law enforcement officers, and whether under similar circumstances a citizen would have been uncuffed and released without legal consequences.
Raises issue of preferential treatment by Doral cops
“If it was someone like you or I, we would be in much bigger trouble than what this officer was [in],” said Florida International University professor Suman Kakar and expert in policing. “There’s some partiality coming on. The report doesn’t even mention all of the chaos she caused there.”
Doral Police spokesman Rey Valdes told the Miami Herald that the “majority of drunks” his agency’s officers deal with are not arrested. He said officers have the discretion whether to make an arrest.
“In this case, it was not a felony,” he said. “If anyone was hurt here, it was the officer in question and her reputation.”
Valdes said he had not watched the whole video. He said the case was properly documented. He said officers C. Curbelo-Mesa and J. Valle, who handled the incident and decided to release the sergeant, are not under any kind of internal review.
“We do not do special treatment,” Valdes said. “There’s dozens of drunks we deal with on a daily basis over there that we don’t even document it. We put them in a cab and we get them the hell out of there. It’s not like we tried to sweep them under the rug.”
Disturbance begins at CityPlace Doral restaurant
Doral Police involved when it sent the officers to investigate a report of a disturbance at Heaven Mykonos at CityPlace Doral. The general manager said two white females — Guevara and Schools Police Officer Jennifer Grenier — were being “disorderly and disruptive” and refusing to pay their check. He wanted them to leave.
The Doral Police officers were a male (Valle) and a female (Curbelo-Mesa).
The restaurant general manager listed on the report, Luis Toledo, declined to comment.
Hour-long videos recorded by the two officers’ body cameras showed a belligerent Guevara repeatedly struck them and swiped at her Schools police colleague, Grenier.
Guevara was handcuffed and placed in a Doral Police vehicle until she was picked up by another Schools Police officer and taken home. The officers also took Guevara’s and Grenier’s department-issued handguns while inside the restaurant and emptied them, as seen in the video.
Police led Guevara and Grenier through a stairwell, where the body camera videos showed Guevara used “finger guns,” as if simulating drawing a firearm and clearing a stairwell during a building search.
Once outside, Officer Curbelo-Mesa put Guevara’s hair into a ponytail.
Guevara is seen and heard on video making several incoherent statements to officers, including, “Motherfu--er I need my motherfu--in’ drugs.” She became belligerent when she believed Grenier was recording her with her phone, though Grenier said she was arranging for a friend to pick them up.
Guevara is seen on video trying to take off her shirt when she was handcuffed by Valle. Throughout the body camera videos, Grenier cooperated with police and repeatedly yelled at Guevara to calm down.
Video captured on Doral cops’ body camera
During the scuffle, the video shows Guevara handcuffed on the ground while shouting “BLM motherfu--er,” and “Black lives matter!” A Doral officer warned her to watch what she was saying because she was being recorded by their body cameras.
When picking up Guevara, she is briefly swinging her arms up and striking Valle, a male officer, before they tussle on the ground. She yelled at officers to “get my legs” as backup officers arrived.
The incident report written by the Doral officers does not mention that Guevara got into an altercation with them. Instead, it said there was a “verbal altercation” between Guevara and Grenier.
“Ms. Guevara began a verbal altercation with Ms. Grenier and subsequently began to remove an article of clothing off of her person,” the report said. “As a result, of her behavior, handcuffs were placed on Ms. Guevara to prevent further action.”
Police report later revised
The report was later revised to identify the two women as police officers with Miami-Dade Schools Police, though the original incident report only listed Guevara’s address as Schools Police headquarters.
Doral Police declined to make officers Curbelo-Mesa and Valle available for interviews.
Raul Correa, a retired Schools Police commander who is now a consultant at Miami Tactical, LLC, said without knowing all the facts or details to what led up to the incident, “it appears as inappropriate behavior by the officer in question.”
“Law enforcement is a profession with the highest standards possible. Policework is hard enough without these types of incidents,” he wrote in an email. “In today’s climate of police scrutiny, these types of incidents sadly contribute to the public’s negative perspective of police, which is unfair.”
Kakar, the FIU policing expert, said citizens would be afraid to lie about actions recorded on video, and that officers are held to a higher standard in relaying such incidents for possible prosecution.
“The report should have reflected what actually happened, not what is desirable by law enforcement or the department,” Kakar said. “It should reflect the facts because that is what the law is about. That’s why the public loses faith in police, loses faith in the law or faith in courts.”
Miami-Dade Schools Police is investigating
Miami-Dade Schools Police Chief Edwin Lopez issued this statement Friday:
“I’m aware that members of our agency were recently involved in an off-duty incident in the City of Doral,” he said. “The incident is currently being administratively investigated by our Internal Affairs Unit. Because it’s an open investigation, no further information is available at this time.”
Grenier, 33, is not under an internal investigation by Schools Police. A source with knowledge of the administrative investigation says Grenier never declined to pay any bill at the restaurant and was never asked by anyone to leave the restaurant.
The source said Grenier was embarrassed by the incident and “deeply distraught” that other news outlets paint her as complicit in wrongdoing.
Fraternal Order of Police 133 President Al Palacio declined to comment. Reached by phone, Guevara declined to comment. She is now being represented by private counsel.
Guevara has worked for Schools Police since 2014. Grenier has been on the force less than two years.
The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office, notified of Schools Police’ internal review, has not acted on the incident.