Ambar Pacheco is the rookie cop in North Beach, Miami who was fired after she allegedly kicked a pregnant woman in the stomach, causing the woman to give birth prematurely. Pacheco has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant woman, which is a 2nd degree felony. She was immediately fired from the police department.
The incident took place on Wednesday evening, when Pacheco was off duty. Evoni Murray told CBS News that she and her boyfriend Joseph Predelus Jr. were taking a walk when they ran into Ambar Pacheco and her sister. After a brief exchange, Murray said that Pacheco kicked her in the stomach. She was in pain and began having contractions. Murray, 27, was eight months pregnant and the baby was due on August 4.
Paramedics took her to Mt. Sinai Hospital, and her son was born soon afterwards. He is healthy and is doing well. You can see a video clip of him here.
Here’s what you need to know about Ambar Pacheco.
1. Evoni Murray Says Pacheco Assaulted Her Because Pacheco Thought She Was “Talking” About Her
Evoni Murray spoke to a reporter at CBS News in northern Miami. She said that she and her boyfriend Joseph Predelus Jr. were walking on Washington Avenue around 8:30 on Wednesday evening when they crossed paths Pacheco and her sister Mikaela. Apparently both Ambar and Pacheco were crying.
Murray told CBS that Pacheco and her sister imagined that she and her boyfriend were somehow insulting her. And that’s when Pacheco attacked. Murray said, “They thought that we were talking about them and we weren’t. They just got belligerent and they got loud. They tried to jump me because they thought I said something.”
Murray said that neither she nor her boyfriend provoked the attack in any way.
2. Pacheco Said That Predelus Kicked Her Sister In The Face — And That’s When She “Saw Red”
Pacheco told police that Evoni Murray’s boyfriend, Joseph Predelus, started the whole fight. She said that Predelus, 40, kicked her sister Mikaela in the face. She did not say why this happened. Murray denies this completely.
Pacheco said that she was so angry that she had to lash out. “I saw red and beat the s— out of [Murray],” Pacheco said, according to her affidavit. Later, Pacheco said that she could not remember who she had kicked. The affidavit also said that Murray was “visibly” pregnant.
Murray was only nine days away from her due date of August 9. After Pacheco allegedly kicked her, Murray suffered intense pain and began having contractions. Paramedics rushed her to Mount Sinai hospital, where she went into labor. Just seven minutes later, she gave birth to Joseph Predelus III, a healthy baby boy.
3. Pacheco’s File Shows The Police Department Had Already Put Her On Probation
Pacheco, 26, was hired by the North Miami Beach Police Department in September 2017. She has had a number of disciplinary problems since being hired, and she was kept on probation for longer than usual, because of those disciplinary issues.
CBS News reports that Pacheco’s file showed that she was needed to “improve situational awareness” and “officer safety skills.” The file also said that she didn’t have a strong enough knowledge of police procedures — and that she was often late for work.
The file said she had had three accidents in her police cruiser since being hired last year. Apparently two of those accidents were not her responsibility. But the third accident caused property damage, and Pacheco got an official warning after the incident.
4. Murray’s Boyfriend Hinted That Pacheco Was Drunk During Their Encounter
Evoni Murray’s boyfriend, Joseph Predelus,denies that he kicked Pacheco’s 21 year old sister Mikaela. he told the Washington Post, I never did no kicking, nothing. I never touched nobody, All I did was defend my baby mother and a child. To me, I don’t put my hands on women, and that’s how it should be, especially a pregnant woman, too.”
But Predelus also said that Pacheco and her sister may have been drunk during their interchange.
Afterwards, Pacheco swore out an affidavit which seemed to have internal contradictions, maybe indicating that she was confused about the incident. She said that she “saw red” and “kicked the s–t out of [her]”. But she also said that she couldn’t remember who she had kicked.
5. If She’s Convicted, Pacheco Could Serve Up to 15 Years in Prison
Pacheco has been arrested and charged with aggravated battery on a pregnant women. In Florida, that crime carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison, and 15 years of probation. There is also a $10,000 fine.
Under Florida’s guidelines, the minimum sentence for someone convicted of the crime is 21 months.
Pacheco was immediately removed of duty in the police department. Her badge was taken away, and a note in her file said that she would no longer be allowed to carry a concealed weapon. On Friday, she was arrested and also fired from the department.