Miami Beach police officer granted retrial in battery case

Officer Kevin Perez caught on camera hitting, kicking handcuffed man

MIAMI – Miami Beach police Officer Kevin Perez was scheduled to be sentenced Friday after he was convicted of simple battery, but the judge instead granted the defense team’s request for a retrial.

The defense team argued that charges were dropped against the alleged victim in the case, Dalonta Crudup, which seemed to them like a quid pro quo, a favor or advantage granted or expected in return for something.

“I don’t know why that was. I didn’t question it. And I had a responsibility to stay out of it because of my position in this case,” prosecutor Sandra Miller Batiste said. “So there was no quid pro quo from us to Mr. Crudup.”

Judge Alberto Milian said he would “err on the side of the defendant” and granted a new trial.

“Judge Milian’s ruling today put justice back on course. Bad is bad and good is good. Dalonta Crudup was the offender in this case and Kevin Perez is a good police officer,” defense attorney Robert Buschel said. “We hope the state reviews the case and perhaps they won’t prosecute again, but if they do, we’ll be ready for trial a second time.”

If convicted again, Perez faces up to a year in jail or 12 months’ probation and a $1,000 fine.

The incident that resulted in Perez’s arrest, along with four other officers, occurred on July 26, 2021, at the Royal Palm Hotel in Miami Beach.

Surveillance videos from that day show Crudup, then 24, riding his scooter down an alley in South Beach and officers following him before his arrest at the nearby hotel.

Police said Crudup had struck an officer on a bicycle with his scooter on Ninth Street and Ocean Court.

The injured officer needed a brace and crutches, police said.

Surveillance video from the hotel shows a lieutenant stopping Crudup in the elevator at gunpoint.

It’s after Crudup was on the ground and cuffed that Perez kicked him, hit him and later slammed him to the ground, prosecutors said.

“I couldn’t move,” Crudup testified earlier this year. “Officers had their knees everywhere.”

Perez opted not to testify in his defense.

Sgt. Jose Perez, meanwhile, was found guilty in the same case, with adjudication withheld, meaning he was not formally convicted.

Officer Steven Serrano filed a motion to dismiss his case last week and charges have been dropped against Officers Robert Sabater and David Rivas.

About the Authors:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for