Rough arrest of man in hotel lobby leads to 4 Miami Beach officers placed on leave

The arrest of two men in Miami Beach sparked an internal affairs investigation within the city’s own police department.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – The arrests of two men in Miami Beach sparked an Internal Affairs investigation within the city’s own police department.

With cuts on his face and a busted lip, Khalid Vaughn, 28, says he was on the receiving end of excessive force by Miami Beach police officers.

As a result of the arrest, four officers have been relieved of duty.

The incident took place Monday afternoon at the Royal Palm Hotel on 15th Street and Collins Avenue.

Vaughn told Local 10 News reporter Janine Stanwood he was in the lobby with his friend when police were arresting another man who allegedly struck a bicycle officer with a scooter. That man was later identified as 24-year-old Dalonta Crudup.

From left: Khalid Vaughn and Dalonta Crudup. (Miami-Dade Corrections & Rehabilitation)

Vaughn said he was trying to take video with his phone when police turned their attention to him.

“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.”

In a statement to Local 10 News, Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said:

“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. 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.”

The bicycle officer struck by the suspect on a scooter has been released from the hospital with a brace and will need crutches, according to a department spokesperson.

Crudup faces multiple charges, including 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.

About the Author:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.