Miami Woman Charged With Resisting Arrest Claims Police Pushed and Threw Her

March 9, 2011 by David S. Seltzer

As a Miami-Dade resisting arrest criminal defense attorney, I’m well aware that the crime of “resisting an officer” in Florida is sometimes misused by police officers who simply don’t like the person arrested. So I was interested to see a March 2 article from WSVN-TV about a woman who claims officers roughed her up, including pushing her to the ground while she was already handcuffed, before charging her with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and battery on a police officer. Andrea Castillo says she was wrongly jailed and subjected to excessive force after criticizing officers verbally on her way out of a concert Feb. 20. Video captured of part of the confrontation appears to show her being pushed into a metal railing, and Miami police say they’re investigating the incident.

Castillo had been to a concert at Bayfront Park with her husband and some friends. As they left, she was separated from the others and encountered a police officer she felt was rude. She says she asked “Why are you talking to us like that?” and the officer cursed at her. The next thing she knew, she said, she was pushed into a railing, then pulled back by her arm. When she spoke again, she says, the officer handcuffed her and began walking her away, but then pushed her onto the ground while handcuffed. It wasn’t clear from the video how many officers were involved, and the department declined to comment. She was slightly injured, but says she doesn’t want to sue the department — she just wants the charges against her dropped.

As a Fort Lauderdale resisting an officer defense lawyer, I know there’s a reasonable chance that Castillo is telling the truth about not having committed any real crimes. Unfortunately, the Miami-Dade Police Department has been accused of excessive force in the recent past — in fact, a similar incident was caught on tape on Halloween, when officers were accused of beating partygoers in Coconut Grove for no apparent reason. Al Sharpton has also recently called for an investigation into officer-involved shootings of African American men. Resisting an officer is a real crime in Florida, but unfortunately, it’s very vaguely defined. This allows officers who just don’t like being questioned to use it in situations where no real crime was committed — in essence, to abuse their power. An experienced south Florida resisting arrest defense attorney may be necessary to clear the defendant’s name and keep him or her out of jail on trumped-up charges.

If you or someone you love was arrested in Miami and you’d like to know your options for fighting it, you should call Seltzer Law, P.A. as soon as possible. To learn more about us or set up a free, confidential consultation, send us a message through our website or call us 24 hours a day and seven days a week at 1-888-THE-DEFENSE (1-888-843-3333).