A 34-year-old police officer in south Florida found herself behind bars last week after she and a 35-year-old pregnant woman learned they were both unwitting participants in a love triangle with the same man, who they attacked in a crowded restaurant, authorities said.
Miami-Dade Police Officer Anna Elicia Perez and Mila Zuloaga were taken into custody on Friday and charged with one count each of battery over the alleged attack, court records reviewed by Law&Crime show.
According to a report from Miami NBC affiliate WTVJ, Officer Perez was in a romantic relationship — which she believed to be monogamous — with a man whose identity has not been disclosed. Zuloaga, who is reportedly seven months pregnant with the man’s child, also believed she was in a monogamous relationship with him and lived with him.
While it is unclear how the women learned about each other’s relationship with the victim, the pair reportedly confronted him about the love triangle at Miller’s Ale House, a sports bar in the 13000 block of South Dixie Highway in Palmetto Bay, which is about 15 miles south of Miami.
Perez and Zuloaga reportedly accosted the victim, and the trio got into a “verbal dispute” that quickly escalated into a “physical confrontation,” according to a copy of the police report obtained by CBS News. During the alleged attack, Officer Perez and Zuloaga “intentionally struck the victim on the face and upper body with their hands multiple times,” police reportedly wrote.
As a result of the altercation, the man reportedly suffered redness and bruising to his face and lower lip.
Perez and Zuloaga were taken into custody that same day by Perez’s colleagues with the Miami-Dade Police Department. In an interview with investigators, Perez allegedly admitted that she had “pushed and hit the victim multiple times,” CBS News reported.
Perez was processed and transported to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center, while Zuloaga was taken to the Miami-Dade Police Department’s Special Victim’s Bureau,
It is not clear how long Perez has been an officer with MDPD. The department did not immediately respond to messages from Law&Crime seeking additional details on Perez’s time with the agency aandthe alleged attack.
Miami-Dade Police Director Freddy Ramirez on Monday said that he is unhappy with Perez’s conduct, saying police and prosecutors are currently reviewing the allegations together.
“I am disappointed by this officer’s actions. We are held to a higher standard of conduct on and off duty,” he said on Monday. “Although this officer was off duty, her behavior was unacceptable, and it goes against the core values of our department. We will work closely with the State Attorney’s Office and ensure a thorough and transparent investigation.”
Perez has reportedly been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an investigation conducted by the Miami State Attorney’s Office.
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