Notary charged in beating case that landed 2 Hialeah cops, businessman in jail

MIAMI – Authorities charged a fourth man they say was connected to the the beating of a handcuffed homeless man by a pair of since-fired Hialeah police officers and the ensuing coverup.

On Jan. 26, prosecutors announced the arrests of officers Rafael Quinones Otano, 27, and Lorenzo Orfila, 22, along with Hialeah business owner Ali Amin Saleh, 46.

The two officers are accused of beating the victim, Jose Ortega Gutierrez, 50, unconscious on Dec. 17 after driving him to an isolated area. The officers encountered Ortega Gutierrez after a disturbance call.

Saleh is accused of coercing Ortega Gutierrez into signing an affidavit claiming he wasn’t beaten by the officers, with a promise of $1,200.

Juan Prietocofino, 51, is accused of notarizing the document without the victim’s presence or permission.

On Monday, Local 10 News learned that Prietocofino was also arrested and charged in the case and has since bonded out of jail.

He wasn’t present for a court hearing Monday, having bonded out, but Saleh and the two officers were.

A judge was to decide whether the trio would receive bond.

The hearing was expected to continue into Tuesday.

About the Authors:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.

Chris Gothner joined the Local 10 News team in 2022 as a Digital Journalist.