Crime

Miami-Dade police lieutenant arrested, accused of fondling little girl

Braulio Gonzalez
Braulio Gonzalez Miami-Dade Corrections

Authorities have arrested a Miami-Dade police lieutenant on allegations he molested an underage girl.

Braulio Gonzalez, 44, was arrested Thursday afternoon at the headquarters of Miami-Dade’s Special Response Team. Gonzalez was a member of the heavily armed team, which is deployed to handle hostage situations, the serving of warrants and searches for dangerous fugitives.

“Today, as a result of an ongoing investigation, detectives from our Special Victims Bureau arrested a member of our agency,” said Miami-Dade Police Director Juan J. Perez.

“To say that I am shocked and disturbed at these serious allegations is an understatement. As I have said before, no one is above the law and I offer the victim in the case my assurance of our commitment to a thorough investigation.”

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Gonzalez is the fourth Miami-Dade police officer to be arrested over the past month. In unrelated cases, one officer was accused of kicking a handcuffed suspect. Another was charged with insurance fraud. And yet another was accused of IRS tax fraud.

The lieutenant is a former Hialeah police officer who was hired by Miami-Dade in 1999. He was relieved of duty with pay on Thursday. A police spokesman said the department will stop paying him when Miami-Dade prosecutors file formal charges at arraignment.

“The charges represent a breach of trust by a law enforcement officer who has sworn to protect the community and uphold the law,” Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle said in a statement.

Gonzalez has been accused of domestic violence on several occasions over the years, although the outcomes of the cases were not clear on Thursday. In 2010, Miami-Dade court records show, a woman secured a temporary restraining order against him after she accused him of domestic violence, but it was dismissed when she failed to show for a hearing.

In his latest case, the girl told a psychologist that Gonzalez fondled her repeatedly when she was between 8 and 10 years old, according to an arrest warrant filed in court. A complaint was filed with the Florida Department of Children and Families.

The girl later told a DCF interviewer that the first time that Gonzalez fondled her, he pointed a gun at her head and threatened to kill a relative unless she went with him to another room, the warrant said.

The fondling happened repeatedly for two years, according to authorities.

Gonzalez is charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious molestation of a child, and armed kidnapping. He remained jailed on Thursday night, and will likely make his first appearance in court on Friday.

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