South Florida

Miami-Dade firefighter faces abuse charge for allegedly disciplining son

A Miami-Dade firefighter is facing felony charges after police accused him of going too far in spanking his 7-year-old son, hitting the child with a belt over a dozen times, causing bruises, scratches and cuts.

Michael Latimer, 32, of Homestead, was arrested and charged with third-degree felony charge abuse with no great harm. He faces arraignment Nov. 6.

According to a police report, Latimer grew upset with his son earlier this month after the boy stole a cellphone, charger and money, then lied about it. He admitted to police that he hit the boy 12 to 15 times “about the arms, legs and face.”

Latimer, police said, then provided the boy with Neosporin ointment for his injuries. The report did not detail who reported the alleged abuse to authorities.

According to Latimer’s LinkedIn profile page, he has been a firefighter for over seven years. He has been placed on administrative duty pending the outcome of the case. His public defender could not be reached for comment Thursday.