According to a City of Miami Police arrest report, Ryan Gellineau was booked June 2, 2013, on charges of resisting an officer with violence, a third-degree felony. Officer Stanley Mike, who wrote the arrest affidavit, says he and another cop were set to arrest Gellineau's girlfriend when Gellineau "charged" at the officers and screamed, "You will not be arresting my girlfriend!" and "Fuck you, you guys are not going to get away with this." He then allegedly tried to kick the cops while they wrestled him to the ground.
But according to a lawsuit filed Thursday in federal court, the entire incident never happened. And what's more, Gellinau says that he was recording the entire incident on his cell phone and that the video evidence shows the arrest report is made up. In fact, the lawsuit says the video clip shows Gellineau standing 15 feet from the cops on a public sidewalk until Officer Mike walked up to Gellineau and punched him.
"The facts as stated, written, and sworn to in Stanley Mike’s Complaint/Arrest Affidavit are fabricated and materially false," the lawsuit says.
If Gellinau's accusations are true — and his lawyer says they have video footage — the claims suggest Mike committed perjury, because arrest affidavits are sworn documents. The lawsuit says the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office dropped the charges against Gellineau after reviewing the video and admitting it contradicted Mike's sworn report. But four years later, Mike has not been charged with a crime.
Reached via phone, Gellineau's lawyer, Herbert Kim, declined to comment, stating the complaint "spoke for itself." He also declined to provide a copy of the video in question.
But according to the text of the suit, the video shows that Gellineau — who has a long history of arrests, including multiple charges of cannabis possession and for carrying a concealed weapon without a permit — had been minding his own business on the sidewalk while two cops handcuffed his girlfriend. The suit says she had already been apprehended and cuffed when Gellineau called out to her: “Hey, Gina, what are you getting locked up for?” from the other side of the street.
A few seconds later, the suit says, Mike shouted, "Hey!" and "started to approach" Gellineau.
"No, no, no, what’s your badge number, sir?” Gellineau asked. Instead, Mike punched him and knocked him down to the ground, all of which was caught on video, the suit says.
"Furthermore, after Stanley Mike violently punched and knocked down Ryan Gellineau, Stanley Mike continued to punch and kick Ryan Gellineau while he was on the ground, causing great bodily injury to Ryan Gellineau," the suit says. Gellineau is now suing Mike for false arrest, battery, malicious prosecution, excessive force, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and also accuses the city of failing to properly train its cops.
"Stanley Mike’s restraint, arrest, and detention, and arrest of Ryan Gellineau was based upon facts that were knowingly falsified by Stanley Mike and were not based upon any requisite probable cause for the restrain, arrest, and detention of Ryan Gellineau," the suit says.
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The incident apparently occurred right after Mike received an 80-hour suspension in September 2012 for an undisclosed incident. Documents show that Mike appealed the case but that in May 2013, a month before the altercation with Gellineau, the Miami Civil Service Board and City Manager Daniel Alfonso sustained Mike's suspension.
If Gellineau's video backs up his claims, it wouldn't be the first time an MPD cop fabricated an arrest report. It also wouldn't be the first time the State Attorney's Office declined to prosecute a cop accused of falsifying a report. In 2012, a local lawyer sent an email to State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle's office complaining that active MPD cop and union president Javier Ortiz had likely falsified a report. The lawyer said Ortiz had drafted sworn statements that blatantly contradicted video evidence from an incident outside Ultra Music Festival, in which a crowd of Miami cops, including Ortiz, tasered an innocent man on video. The victim was instead arrested and charged with battery.
"Defense attorney Scott Srebnick was so bothered by the circumstances surrounding this case that he contacted [Assistant State Attorney] Jose Arrojo via email to suggest taking action against the officers involved," the State Attorney's Office's close-out memo reads. Instead, Rundle's office did nothing.
Ortiz was again accused in a formal complaint of falsifying an arrest report claiming that prominent police critic and political candidate Daniel Suarez had fled law enforcement officers in a car. Suarez filed complaints about the report, telling New Times he'd interacted with Ortiz for years but never once heard about the alleged "incident" until Suarez became a witness in a restraining-order case that could have cost Ortiz his job.