MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – In an exclusive interview with Local 10 News, 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup showed us his injuries after his rough encounter with Miami Beach police that left him with a black eye, bruised ribs and blood on his chin.
“I got beat up, got stitches, went to the hospital,” he said after bonding out of jail Tuesday morning.
Crudup is accused of striking a police officer with a scooter he was riding early Monday morning.
He said he didn’t know police were chasing him because he was driving with his headphones on.
When he finally realized the officers were after him, he said he took off because he was scared.
“They trying to put a Black man in jail for no reason. I ain’t do nothing wrong,” Crudup said.
The incident started around 1 a.m. Monday.
Miami Beach police say they were trying to conduct a traffic stop on Crudup because he had illegally parked the scooter at Ninth Street and Ocean Court.
“It was parking on the side. I wasn’t illegally parked,” Crudup said.
Police said after Crudup took off, he hit one of the bicycle officers with his scooter.
“Yes, I was on a scooter. But I never hit an officer or anything like that,” Crudup said.
Crudup said he ditched his scooter and ran into the Royal Palm Hotel, where he was staying.
That’s when he says the cops started beating him.
According to a police report, another man, Khalid Vaughn, 28, began recording them with his cellphone in the lobby area, getting close to their faces and not maintaining 20 feet of distance, impeding their investigation.
“I started recording it. They already got him in handcuffs. They beat him, turned around, charged me down, beat me,” Vaughn said. “Punched me, elbowed me in the face.”
Vaughn and a friend who was with him, Sharif Cobb, 27, were arrested. Police stated in both of their arrest reports that they were forced to strike the men because they were resisting arrest.
Both men, however, claim excessive force was used.
Four officers have now been relieved of duty.
“They beat up two dudes that was recording me that was inside the hotel, and they ain’t even do nothing wrong,” Crudup said. “You clearly see that camera. Now four officers suspended, so you know I’m not lying.”
Vaughn was arrested on charges of resisting arrest and impeding an investigation.
The police chief is recommending those charges be dropped.
Crudup is hoping his charges get dropped too.
He faces charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, fleeing and eluding, resisting an officer with violence, criminal mischief and reckless driving resulting in damage to property or a person.
“I reviewed the video footage regarding this incident, and I have serious concerns about the force utilized after Mr. Crudup was in custody, including the level of force utilized in the subsequent arrest of Mr. Vaughn,” Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said in a statement. “This is not indictive of the hard-working men and women of the Miami Beach Police Department and will not be tolerated. In response, I immediately initiated an Internal Affairs investigation and relieved four officers of duty until such time as the investigation is complete. I also contacted the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office to conduct a further review of this incident, as I’m firmly committed to ensuring that this investigation follows the appropriate process.”
A spokesman for the Miami Beach Police Department said the officer who was allegedly struck by the scooter has been released from the hospital with a brace and will need crutches.