Andrew Mossberg made a painful mistake last month. He thought Miami Beach Police Det. Philippe Archer was a purse snatcher and tried to help the woman he believed was the victim. His thanks? Getting his face obliterated by the cop.
In the early evening of June 26, the 50-year-old audio and video engineer was walking on West Avenue when he saw Archer, dressed in a blue polo shirt and black slacks, screaming and manhandling Megan Adamescu, a 29-year-old model.
"I saw him grab her purse and pull things out of it," Mossberg relays. "When she tried to grab the bag back, he punched her in the face. She fell down, got up, and tried to go for her purse again. He then kicked her legs from underneath her so she would fall down again."
Mossberg alleges Archer was not wearing a police badge or any other ID. So Mossberg called the Miami Beach Police nonemergency number and asked the dispatcher to send units over. "I yelled at him that the police are on their way," Mossberg says. "That's when he ran at me, kicked me once in the left side of the head, then kicked me again in the forehead, and punched me twice."
What he didn't know was that the cop had just thrown Adamescu, who was drunk, out of the South Bay Club condo building.
Adamescu, who sustained a black eye and a head contusion, admits she was heavily intoxicated. But she insists Archer was the aggressor. "I didn't know who he was," she says. "He definitely didn't show me a badge. All of a sudden he's grabbing my purse. I was freaking out."
The condo's concierge, Adrian Aponte, says the cop did ID himself. "She was passed out on the lobby's sofa," he says of Adamescu. "She was in a very terrible condition."
What is certain is that when Mossberg came to, he found himself under arrest alongside Adamescu for felony battery on a law enforcement officer, resisting an officer with violence, and obstructing justice. In arrest reports, Archer claims Mossberg and Adamescu attacked him despite his telling them he was a cop and showing his badge. (Archer, incidentally, is one of the 12 cops who fired more than 100 rounds at Raymond Herisse on Memorial Day weekend in 2011 and wounded four bystanders in the process.)
Miami-Dade prosecutors dropped all the charges against the pair on August 15.
Miami Beach Police spokesman Bobby Hernandez would not comment on Mossberg's allegations, but he noted that neither Mossberg nor Adamescu has filed a complaint against Archer. "It is strange that this serious allegation of police misconduct was not reported to the internal affairs unit or the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office or the Florida Department of Law Enforcement," he says. "Yet it is reported to Miami New Times two months later."