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Officer in Critical Condition After 'Horrific' Attack

Officer in Critical Condition After 'Horrific' Attack

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The Miami Herald via YellowBrix

April 26, 2010

MIAMI-DADE – An ex-con with a history of violence beat a Miami-Dade detective in the head with a cinder block, kicked him in the head and chest and ran him over with his unmarked police car, police said Saturday.

Miami-Dade Police Department Director James Loftus called the beating ``horrific.’’

“Don’t ask me to explain this, and don’t ask me to understand this,‘’ Loftus told reporters at a press conference Saturday afternoon. "Because I don’t get it. It should horrify us all.’’

Michael Paul Robertson was arrested Saturday morning for the attack Friday evening in Liberty City, which left Carlos Castillo with severe head and brain injuries and several broken bones. Robertson’s girlfriend was arrested as an accomplice.

Robertson, 33, knew he was wanted by Miami police. That’s probably why he fled after being pulled over Friday night in Liberty City, Loftus said. But Robertson, already wanted for shooting a gun during an argument with the mother of his child, returned — with a cinder block.

Robertson came up behind Castillo, who had stopped Robertson and his girlfriend, and slammed the block into the uniformed officer’s head with such force that police said it broke into pieces.

Castillo, 37, crumpled to the street, where police said Robertson kicked him in the head and chest. Then he jumped into Castillo’s unmarked black Dodge Charger, and ran the detective over.

Monica Banks, 25, had been handcuffed by Castillo and watched as her boyfriend attacked the detective. She later was uncooperative and lied to police when questioned, Loftus said.

Robertson drove away in the Charger, leaving the detective in a pool of blood. Castillo was so covered in blood that officers who arrived at the scene minutes later thought he’d been shot, Loftus said.

Castillo, a 15-year veteran of the force and currently part of the robbery intervention unit, was transported to Ryder Trauma Center in Miami. The assault left him with multiple skull fractures, brain injuries, a liver laceration, seven broken ribs and a spine injury, among other wounds. Castillo remained in critical but stable condition Saturday evening.

Police found Robertson hiding in a nearby home soon after the incident. Someone told police where Robertson was hiding, Loftus said, and that he wanted to turn himself in.

He and his girlfriend were charged Saturday morning with attempted first-degree murder. Robertson also has been charged with robbery/carjacking, aggravated assault with a firearm, and possession of a firearm by a felon.

Robertson has served prison time and probation time for burglary, grand theft and other charges, Miami-Dade court records show.

“It goes to show the dangers of the streets,‘’ said John Rivera, president of the Police Benevolent Association. "I just hope that not only the public, but the politicians, realize that cutting public safety only helps the criminals.’’


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