South Florida

Ex-Biscayne Park cop charged with assaulting two people during arrests

Guillermo Ravelo is sworn in as a Sweetwater reserve officer in 2009. He’s been indicted on charges of punching and beating suspects during arrests and falsifying the police reports afterward when he worked for Biscayne Park.
Guillermo Ravelo is sworn in as a Sweetwater reserve officer in 2009. He’s been indicted on charges of punching and beating suspects during arrests and falsifying the police reports afterward when he worked for Biscayne Park. Herald staff

A former Biscayne Park police officer was charged Friday with assaulting two people in violation of their civil rights and falsifying arrest reports.

Guillermo Ravelo, 37, who was fired last month, is accused in an indictment of striking a driver with his fist during a traffic stop in April 2013 and hitting another person with a blunt object during a vehicle burglary that June.

“Both assaults resulted in bodily injury, and on both occasions officer Ravelo falsified the police reports by misstating the circumstances of the arrests and by omitting that he struck both of the victims,” prosecutors said in a statement.

At his first federal court appearance Friday, Ravelo was granted a bond and was required to turn over his firearm. His arraignment is set for April 13.

Ravelo’s defense attorney, Douglas Hartman, said his client intends to plead not guilty.

Hartman said the U.S. Attorney’s Office brought the case against Ravelo just before the statute of limitations was to expire. He questioned why the indictment was filed, because the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office had already declined to pursue one of the charges against the officer involving the April 2013 incident.

Ravelo, who started his law enforcement career with Sweetwater police in 2009, was placed on suspension in Biscayne Park following the assault allegations.

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