During the darkest months of winter, half of Canada flees to South Florida. So you'd think police would have some respect for the maple-syrup-guzzling visitors who fuel the local economy through spring break.
That's not what one pair of sisters from Toronto found in Miami Beach last month. The women say two Beach cops assaulted them while hurling insults such as "bitches," "sluts," and "dirty Canadians." Not very neighborly, eh?
"When my daughters got back to the condo, they looked terrible," says Sharon Carpenter, their mother. "They were covered in bruises and were bawling their eyes out."
Det. Bobby Hernandez, a spokesman for MBPD, declined to comment because there's an open investigation. But he said the sisters didn't follow through on their allegations: "When it came time for [them] to give a formal sworn statement, they refused."
The pair, Angelina and Michelle Mastrangelo, ran afoul of the cops just before 10 p.m. on December 23. They were hanging with three dudes they'd met near the beach entrance of the Ritz-Carlton on Lincoln Road and smoking cigarettes while the guys puffed on a spliff.
"They were smoking weed, not us," Michelle insists. "Two cops approached us because apparently we were on private property."
That's when things escalated. Two officers, six-year veterans William Beeker and Eduard Alba, appeared, and Angelina, who is 24, says Beeker told her to "sit the fuck down, bitch." When she refused, he pushed her against a wall, pulled her to the ground, and cuffed her.
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Angelina was charged with resisting arrest without violence, and Michele, who is four years younger, was charged with disorderly intoxication, resisting arrest without violence, and criminal mischief. In their report, the cops say the sisters "became irate, yelling and screaming," while Angelina "stood up and approached in an aggressive and threatening manner."
At the police station, Michelle claims, Alba called her sister "Miss Piggy" and "fat bitch" when she told him her weight. "Alba also called us sluts, cunts, and dirty Canadians," Michelle says. "He told the other male cops not to talk to us because they would get HIV."
The sisters were transported to county jail, where they stayed until their mother bailed them out eight hours later. "I had to wake my sister up in Toronto and ask her to put the $3,150 for the bail on her credit card," Carpenter grouses. "We didn't have any fun... I'm never, ever in my life going back to Miami."