MIAMI – Former Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez appeared in court Thursday morning after his arrest on a battery charge.
Dressed in a red jumpsuit and in handcuffs, Alvarez answered questions from Judge Tanya Brinkley.
Alvarez's bond was set at $1,500. He was released from jail that afternoon.
"I'm standing here talking to you against the advice of my attorney, OK, because I have nothing to hide," Alvarez told Local 10 News after he walked out of the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. "I did nothing wrong."
Coral Gables police said Alvarez grabbed his girlfriend of 14 years, Miami-Dade police Lt. Evelyn Fernandez, by both arms and pinned her against a wall inside her parking garage after he went there Saturday to return his cat.
Fernandez and her teenage daughter both told Coral Gables police officers that Alvarez has been abusive toward the victim since 2013.
Police said the couple got into an argument, and the former mayor spit at her while yelling profanities.
Photos of Fernandez's arm showed bruises, and a text from Alvarez to his ex included a derogatory term.
"One day to another, he snaps," Fernandez told Local 10 News reporter Glenna Milberg by telephone.
The judge ordered Alvarez to stay away from Fernandez.
Alvarez was ousted as mayor in a 2011 recall and later won first place in a South Florida bodybuilding tournament.
Fernandez said their relationship changed once Alvarez started bodybuilding.
"I don't want to see him hurt in any way," Fernandez said. "He needs help."
Prior to being elected mayor, Alvarez served as director of the Miami-Dade Police Department from 1997 to 2004.
"My side has not been told to anybody, and I'll have my day in court," Alvarez said.