3 Miami Beach police officers now face felony charges in connection with rough arrest

Surveillance video

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Three Miami Beach police officers arrested in connection with the rough arrest of a 24-year-old man over the summer will soon have felony charges filed against them, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office announced Thursday.

Prosecutors said the decision was made after they received the victim’s medical records and further investigated the incident that occurred July 26 inside the Royal Palm Hotel.

The officers previously faced misdemeanor charges for the incident involving Dalonta Crudup, and the new charges will be formally brought before a circuit court judge next week.

According to prosecutors, Sgt. Jose Perez will be charged with one count of felony battery, Officer Kevin Perez will be charged with one count of felony battery and Officer Steven Serrano will be charged with one count of official misconduct. All three counts are third-degree felonies.

“All aspects of this July 26th police incident are taken very seriously by my prosecutors,” State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said Thursday in a statement. “The investigation has been and will be as thorough and complete as possible since our entire community has been shocked and offended by what we have seen.”

According to prosecutors, Crudup didn’t sign a HIPPA waiver, so they were able to view his medical records through Aug. 25 and see the extent of his injuries that were examined and treated by an emergency room resident doctor.

“The continued investigation also clarified Officer Serrano’s role in the writing of the arrest form and has led to today’s charge,” a news release from Fernandez Rundle’s office stated.

Crudup was initially arrested after being accused of striking a police officer with a scooter he was riding early that morning.

He told Local 10 News 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 and ran into the hotel where he was staying.

Surveillance video shows an officer held Crudup at gunpoint and Crudup followed orders to get on the ground and put his hands behind his back.

Prosecutors said when Crudup was in handcuffs, Officer Kevin Perez and Sgt. Jose Perez, who are not related, took turns striking and kicking Crudup.

A total of five officers are facing criminal charges for the rough arrests of Crudup and another man, Khalid Vaughn, who was beaten after filming the incident with his cellphone.

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.