Miami police officer arrested in Davie, accused of strangling woman in front of her son

A South Florida police officer has been arrested on charges stemming from a domestic incident.

MIAMI – A South Florida police officer has been arrested on charges stemming from a domestic incident.

City of Miami police Officer Valerio Zamir Vargas was arrested Tuesday by the Davie Police Department.

Vargas, 34, is a five-year veteran with the Miami Police Department.

According to an arrest report, Davie police officers were dispatched in reference to a domestic disturbance and upon arrival at the home in question, met with Vargas and the victim.

Officers immediately noticed “redness round (the victims) neck consistent with being choked,” per the report.

The victim told officers that Vargas woke her up demanding that she unlock her phone, but before she could, he pushed her to the ground, according to the arrest report.

Police said the victim’s 10-year-old son tried to intervene and help his mother.

According to the report, the victim and her son attempted to flee the home when they observed Vargas move toward a safe that they knew contained two firearms.

It was at that time when Vargas put his arm around the victim’s neck, placing her in a choke hold. The victim’s son tried to pull Vargas off his mother, police said, and after she broke away, was able to escape the home and go to a neighbors house, where 911 was called.

The victim declined to prosecute, but officers still charged Vargas with domestic battery by strangulation based off their initial investigation. He was brought to the Davie Police Department for processing before being taken to the Broward Sheriff’s Office main jail.

City of Miami police said Vargas has been relieved of duty with pay, pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.

Vargas is the second Miami police officer who has been arrested in the past few days.

Jeffrey Jose Marcano is facing charges of possession of cocaine and driving under the influence following his arrest in Miami’s Brickell neighborhood early Sunday morning.

He was being monitored by an internal affairs anti-corruption unit, which ultimately led to his arrest.

Marcano, 32, is an eight-year veteran of the department and has been suspended without pay.

About the Authors:

Eden Checkol co-anchors Local 10's 10 p.m. weeknight newscast on WSFL and also reports on WPLG newscasts. She’s a Minnesota native who is thrilled to leave the snow behind and call South Florida home.

David Dwork joined the WPLG Local 10 News team in August 2019. Born and raised in Miami-Dade County, David has covered South Florida sports since 2007.