Exclusive: Victim Talks About How 'Assault By Officer' Led To Premature Birth
Miami Beach, Fla. (CBSMiami) -- A woman who says she was forced to give birth prematurely to her son after she was struck by a North Miami Beach police officer says she hopes that cop "gets the help that she needs."
In an exclusive interview with CBS4'S Peter D'Oench as she recovers at Mt. Sinai Hospital, the victim—-Evoni Murray—-said her son Joseph Predelus III was doing well.
"I'm just happy he is a healthy baby," she said.
Murray, who is from N.W. Miami-Dade, said she was not expecting him until August 4th but her encounter with the officer—26-year-old Ambar Pacheco—-changed that.
Pacheco is charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman and has been relieved of duty pending an internal affairs investigation.
Murray said that she and her boyfriend Joseph Predelus Jr. were walking down Washington Avenue at Espanola Way just after 8:30 p.m. when they encountered Pacheco and her sister Mikaela.
"We were walking down the sidewalk enjoying the night and we saw them," she said. "These girls were crying. Then they thought we were talking about them which was not true. They got belligerent and tried to jump because they thought I said something. If it weren't for Joseph it could have been a lot more serious."
According to a police report, Murray was struck in the stomach area. Pacheco claimed that Predelus Jr. kicked her sister in the face, which Murray denies.
The 5'3", 125-pound Pacheco reportedly said, "I saw red and beat the s... out of her."
Pacheco said she remembered kicking somebody but she did not know who that was.
On the scene, police observed Murray to be in severe pain in the stomach area and was possibly having contractions. Miami Beach Fire Rescue transported her to Mt. Sinai Hospital where shortly after that she gave birth to her son.
"I am pretty overwhelmed that the incident had to happen you know. We forgive but we never forget but we do forgive. I just hope that she gets her life together and gets the help that she needs," said Murray.
Murray said, "It kind of troubles me to know that the people who are supposed to be serving and protecting us are hurting us. I know it not all of them and one apple doesn't spoil the bunch. It's just that sometimes you get a bad seed."
"There is no way that my boyfriend kicked the officer's sister in the face if she was not doing anything," she said. "In fact, my boyfriend was trying to restrain the younger lady from doing anything to me or his child."
"I am pretty sure that the officer's intentions were not to escalate it too far but a reprimand is necessary to show that no matter who you are, no matter what occupation you have, fighting and putting your hand on someone else should not be allowed," said Murray
D'Oench reached out to Pacheco's family but there was no response.
Aggravated battery on a pregnant woman is a 2nd-degree felony. The maximum sentence is 15 years in prison, 15 years probation and a $10,000 fine. The minimum sentence is 21 months unless there are reasons for a downward departure or a shorter sentence.
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