Records show Cruz paid AFLAC $2,031.46 in restitution. The state attorney’s office declined to press charges because it could not prove that Cruz’s claims were “false, incomplete or misleading beyond a reasonable doubt,” according to a close-out memo.
Also in 2001, Cruz was suspended from the city’s vehicle take-home program for six months after it was discovered he used his police cruiser while off duty to play a game of pickup basketball in North Miami-Dade.
During a confrontation on the courts with a man referred to only as Mr. Rodriguez, Cruz allegedly taunted during the game “You must be taking Viagra” and “You’re my b--ch.”
At some point, Cruz told Rodriguez, “They’re going to find you in a garbage can.”
Rodriguez called 911, but Cruz fled the scene, according to the internal affairs file. Miami-Dade police responded. Rodriguez declined to give a statement.
During his time in North Miami, Cruz rose through the ranks despite his disciplinary file. He retired as a commander.
In another 2001 complaint, officers who were supervised by Cruz testified that he made disparaging remarks about them. One officer said Cruz targeted a colleague’s weight, saying he needed “a park [bench] to park his fat ass at roll call.”
Cruz was also accused of refusing to assist an officer he supervised during a burglary call. Instead, an internal affairs investigator found, “Cruz responded by verbally insulting the officer for asking a question.”
The investigator wrote that Cruz displayed “conduct unbecoming by making derogatory remarks of other officers and refusing to provide supervisory assistance to personnel.”
For his conduct, Cruz was suspended for a day and ordered to receive remedial training in supervising, diversity and communications.
Records show Cruz was also reprimanded for not responding to dispatched calls in a timely manner. According to his file, in 1996 Cruz failed to immediately respond to a dispatch to a home for a violation of a restraining order. Twelve minutes after the call, he was seen talking to an off-duty officer at a Red Lobster restaurant.
When asked by his supervisor why he took so long to respond to the call, Cruz said “that he felt unsafe and that his life was in danger” because another officer who had complained Cruz harassed him also responded to the same call. In a memo, Cruz was counseled “to respond directly to calls without delay.”
Over the years, Cruz’s colleagues have alleged that he bullied or embarrassed them, according to complaints in his file.
A co-worker in 1995 said Cruz was behind anonymous comics and fliers found inside the police department. One flier shows a picture of two men engaged in sex. A picture of a city officer’s face was taped over one of the men’s faces. Investigators dismissed the harassment claim because there was not enough evidence.
Miami Herald writer Janey Tate contributed to this report.