MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. - After months of investigation, the Miami Gardens Police Department has stripped a sergeant of his badge and gun, and barred him from the police department.
The move comes only after Local 10 News reported on allegations that the sergeant kidnapped a woman he was supposed to help.
A Miami Gardens Police Department notice warned all officers to keep an eye out for a man who was not a convicted criminal but one of their own: Police Sgt. Javier Romaguera, who has now been stripped of his badge and gun, and locked out of the departmental offices.
"This is something that should have been done six months ago," attorney Stephan Lopez said.
For Lopez, it's too little too late. He's representing a mentally ill young woman who alleges Romaguera kidnapped her in July.
"I'm giving a transport to a black female," Romaguera can be heard saying on his police radio in July when he claimed he was transporting the woman -- who was acting erratically -- to her prior residence.
But the homeowner, Junior Benjamin told Local 10 News that never took place.
The woman said Romaguera instead took her to a stadium hotel, where she said he booked her a room, touched her breasts and tried to kiss her.
"I said, 'No. Stop,'" the victim said.
She said Romaguera did stop and left her alone in the hotel room. Lopez obtained the hotel receipt showing Romaguera indeed paid for a room that night.
An Internal Affairs complaint was quickly filed, but it wasn't until Local 10 News began asking questions that Romaguera was taken off the road. And now he's been relieved of duty.
Romaguera refused to comment when investigative reporter Bob Norman caught up with him in October.
"It's about time they took some sort of action to protect the community and to protect the victim in this case," Lopez said. "The fact that a police officer is the victimizer makes it even worse."
Sources reported the Florida Department of Law Enforcement is now investigating the case, but FDLE has not yet confirmed that.
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