A South Florida mom is expressing gratitude after she safely delivered her baby boy despite going into early labor after she was allegedly kicked in the stomach by an off-duty North Miami Beach officer.
Little Joseph was born to mom Evoni Murray at six pounds, four ounces, and is currently doing well.
“I’m grateful ’cause he’s a blessing,” Murray told WSVN. “I’m grateful because he’s OK.”
Murray was walking with her boyfriend Joseph Predelus in Miami Beach last week when she encountered North Miami Beach Police Officer Ambar Pacheco, who is accused of kicking her in the stomach during an altercation in South Beach.
It is not clear to Murray what happened, all she knew was that she was left in pain and Pacheco was taken into custody.
“That’s why I’m trying to wait for the Miami Beach Police Department to figure it out for me,” Murray said of the incident. “I wish I was a mind reader, but I’m not.”
As for Pacheco, she was swiftly terminated from the police department and is facing charges of aggravated battery.
The Miami Herald reports that the encounter with Pacheco started around 8:40 p.m. last Wednesday on a busy corner of Española Way and Washington Avenue. On one side, Pacheco was accompanied by her 21-year-old sister Mikaela Pacheco, and on the other side was Murray and Predelus.
The police report did not indicate what the altercation was about but Ambar Pacheco apparently told cops that Predelus kicked Mikaela Pacheco in the face, telling the arresting officer, “I saw red and beat the shit out of [Murray].”
Pacheco had been employed with the department for less than a year and was still on probationary status at the time of the altercation.
Murray was already eight months pregnant at the time, but still weeks away from her Aug. 4 due date, when she gave birth.
“The pain was really—it was shock,” she told WSVN. “I really didn’t have no understanding of anything. I just wanted to make sure my baby was safe.”
“Just looking at him, what if I didn’t have him?” Murray added. “Then what? The situation would have been different.”
The family has received an outpouring of love and support from the community, for which Murray is grateful.
“You don’t know what life hands at you. It’s always frightening—pregnancy, labor,” she said. “That’s something that’s always scary for a woman, to feel like your baby’s in danger because of a tragic situation. That’s a whole other traumatic level.”
“My big concern is that she’s OK, and baby Joe is doing all right,” Predelus added. “and, again, I’d just like to thank the community.”