Marius Valdes

City Employee Caught With His Pants Down

Just after lunchtime Tuesday, September 18, Miami Police Det. Gary Jackson arrived at Curtis Park in Allapattah to investigate a crime. It wasn’t a typical purse snatching or pick-up football brawl. What he found must have shocked him.

Two city park employees sat Jackson down and described the following: While picking fruit in the urban park’s southeast corner, they heard a stray dog yelping from inside a ticket booth. Curious, they peeked. There they saw 69-year-old City of Miami park groundskeeper Fernando A. Fernandez with his “pants unfastened, kneeling to conceal himself,” according to a police report. His trousers were pulled down enough that his “buttocks were exposed.”

Jackson learned it wasn’t the first time Fernandez had been caught in what appeared to be a one-way romance with a canine. Park laborer Elier Paez told the detective he’d seen Fernandez — with his pants undone — in an equipment shed with a dog six months earlier. Paez claimed he had watched the poor mutt scamper off with “what appeared to be blood on [its] backside.”

It got weirder. The cop decided to investigate the crime like a conventional rape. Since none of the witnesses had actually seen “sexual contact,” he gathered some dog hair and asked Fernandez for a DNA sample. The groundskeeper refused. The animal was then transported to a shelter.

Fernandez, who has since been suspended with pay, has no criminal record.

The investigation continues, but it’s unclear whether it will go anywhere. The dog, after all, can’t exactly serve as a witness.

-- Natalie O'Neill

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