Woman who struck cop during football game in viral video must write letter of apology
The woman could have the charges against her dropped if she writes a letter of apology to the officer she struck during a University of Miami football game
By Charles Rabin
MIAMI — The woman who backhanded a police officer across the face at a University of Miami football game could have charges against her dropped — on the condition that she write a letter of apology to the officer who punched her as part of a pre-trial intervention program.
Charges of disorderly conduct and battery on a law enforcement officer against Bridget Freitas, 30, would be dropped if she writes Miami-Dade police officer Douglas Ross a letter of apology and completes 50 hours of community service work.
At a Monday morning court hearing Freitas was also told she had to fork over $100 to cover the cost of prosecution.
The officer, an 18-year veteran in the warrants bureau, was cleared last week of any wrongdoing despite a cellphone video of the incident showing him throw a hard right-cross at the woman as she was being carried away from the crowd by four police officers.
The incident, captured on a cellphone video taken by a fan, went viral. It was taken during the rowdiest University of Miami football game in almost two decades. On Saturday night, Nov. 4, when UM played Virginia Tech in a pivotal game, fans and police said Freitas was cursing and swinging at people in Section 129 at Hard Rock Stadium.
Police were called. As she fought them by holding onto a railing on the steps, four officers hoisted her onto their shoulders. The video shows a clearly inebriated Freitas with her feet and arms free and swinging wildly. At one point she reaches out to slap Ross and misses. But her hand connects with him on the way back, striking his left eye.
The report released last week by Ross’ supervisor that cleared him said the officer acted instinctively and immediately struck Freitas to subdue her. It found that his actions were within department rules.
The department’s Internal Affairs office never opened an investigation into Ross’ actions because no one, including Freitas, filed a complaint. The Herald made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Freitas, including visiting her home in Broward County.
Freitas is due in court again on Dec. 21 to see whether she is accepted into the pretrial intervention program that is the basis for her plea agreement.
©2017 Miami Herald