Sportswriters are wringing their hands and moralizing over Robby Anderson, a New York Jets wide receiver who was arrested Sunday night at the Rolling Loud hip-hop festival. Anderson, 23, was booked on charges of resisting an officer with violence and obstruction; an arrest report New Times obtained claims Anderson had been arguing with security guards before getting into a physical altercation with a cop.
"Robby Anderson's arrest is the latest problem for Jets' receivers," an SB Nation headline read.
But the national press is missing which cop Anderson allegedly had a scuffle with: none other than Miami Lt. Javier Ortiz, the city's police union president, who has a long resumé of ethically dubious actions, excessive-force complaints, and even one tasing incident at another Bayfront Park music festival. That particular fiasco ended in Ultra Music Festival paying out a $400,000 legal settlement and Ortiz getting banned from the premises until he appealed.
This is also the second time Ortiz has arrested an NFL player. University of Miami legend Jonathan Vilma filed a complaint against Ortiz six years ago, claiming that in 2009, Ortiz went nuts on Vilma during a traffic stop, waved a gun in his face, screamed at him, and arrested him on false charges that were later dropped. (Vilma agreed to pay $1,000 to a hospital's trauma center.)
Ortiz did not respond to a message from New Times about his latest high-profile case.
Anderson has not yet spoken out about the incident and what happened Sunday night. But the cops allege Anderson was "fighting with security after being told to leave," and, after Ortiz told Anderson to sit down on the ground, the NFL star allegedly "tensed his body and pushed Lt. Ortiz."
Ortiz's report says Anderson, a 6'3", 180-pound NFL player, was "redirected to the ground and continued to fight with police and security." ("Redirected to the ground," in this instance, is likely code for "tackled" or "shoved.") He was eventually handcuffed and arrested.
NY Jets WR Robby Anderson Arrested for Fighting Cop https://t.co/xHrTAN8985— TMZ Sports (@TMZ_Sports) May 8, 2017
Remarkably, the arrest comes barely a month after Ortiz regained his gun and the right to patrol the streets.
In March, the union chief was removed from active duty and stripped of his gun after a woman whom he'd doxxed — and encouraged his Facebook followers to harass — was granted a temporary restraining order against him. Per departmental policy, cops with active restraining orders against them are placed on desk duty until the order runs out. A county judge later declined to make Ortiz's stay-away ruling permanent.
The circumstances of Ortiz's latest headline-making case sound eerily similar to two past incidents in which Ortiz was accused of wrongdoing. In the Vilma case, the football star was charged with both resisting an officer with violence and obstruction of justice — the same infractions as Anderson.
Anderson's arrest also echoes Ortiz's infamous case at Ultra Music Festival in 2011. In that case, Jesse Campodonico, a 27-year-old fitness trainer from New York, was thrown to the ground and tasered by several officers, including Ortiz. Campodonico later sued, claiming excessive force; Ultra eventually paid out a $400,000 settlement.
The cops on the scene claimed Campodonico was "yelling profanities, and had a strong scent of an alcoholic beverage,” and then “took a fighting stance and stated, 'I ain’t afraid of you!'” Ortiz wrote the arrest report, as well as a follow-up document called a Response to Resistance Report. He also testified, backing up his claims — but his fellow cops later provided testimony that conflicted with his own.
Then video emerged that someone had shot of the arrest, and the footage proved the events Ortiz depicted in his report could not have happened.
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A local lawyer later filed a complaint about the alleged act of perjury with the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's Office. The state attorney admitted in writing that Ortiz's documents were full of "inconsistencies," but never prosecuted the union president for wrongdoing.
Ortiz was banned from Ultra but later mounted a legal fight for the right to work security at Ultra again. And for back pay for the
And now, it appears Ortiz — who could, as union president, choose to drive around in circles and take the easy way out all day — has found himself in the thick of things yet again.
Correction: An earlier version of this story misstated who paid out the settlement to Campodonico; it was paid by Ultra Music Festival.