3 Homestead police officers fired

Jeff Rome, Geovanni Soto, Lizanne Deegan to be fired

HOMESTEAD, Fla. - Three Homestead police officers charged in connection with a beating outside a bar in 2011 have been fired, the department announced Friday.

Sgt. Jeff Rome, 56, and Officer Geovanni Soto, 40, are accused of taking part in at least two incidents that were caught on surveillance video.

Sgt. Lizanne Deegan is accused of failing to file a police report.

A letter states the three were fired in Feb. 2013.

"This investigation, which is still be conducted by the State Attorney's Office, and all of its evidence concerning the investigation, was reviewed by the command staff of this department, the city manager, and also to include a board of senior officers, where a recommendation was given to terminate their employment," said Fernando Morales with the Homestead Police Department. "It is an embarrassment to the police department. It's bad for camaraderie. It's bad for your fellow officers. It's never a good thing."

The alleged attacks happened in April 2011 outside Celio's Latin Quarter located at Northeast Ninth Street near Southwest 177th Avenue.

According to the arrest affidavit for one of the officers, "Homestead Police Sergeant Jeffrey Rome was captured on video as he grabbed a visibly elderly man by the collar and pulled down until the man was on the ground at which point Sergeant Rome dragged the man from the roadway to the sidewalk. As the man lay motionless on the ground, Sergeant Rome is seen kicking the man in the head."

Soto is accused of beating a man so badly that his face was disfigured. Prosecutors alleged that Rome assaulted a 69-year-old man and used pepper spray and tear gas on another.

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