Miami authorities have suspended a firefighter who said he had no regrets after video captured him punching a handcuffed patient who he said spat at him in October, officials said.
“If he never knew the consequence of spitting in a grown man’s face, then consider my actions public education and this video a PSA,” Robert Webster told NBC Miami on Tuesday.
Webster, who was a lieutenant with the Miami Department of Fire-Rescue, told the station he is not remorseful for attacking a handcuffed patient on Oct. 15 in the emergency room at Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Webster could not be immediately reached by NBC News for comment Wednesday.
A representative with the Fire-Rescue Department said in a statement that a firefighter was relieved of duty pending an investigation.
"The City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue was made aware of a video released of an incident involving a Miami Firefighter," the statement said. "When this incident occurred, the individual was immediately Relieved of Duty. Our department is conducting an administrative investigation while this individual remains in a Relieved of Duty status."
NBC Miami reported that the video, which had no audio, lasted about 40 seconds.
The station identified the handcuffed patient as Antonio Cruz. NBC Miami obtained a police report, which it reported said Cruz was “agitated and screaming to the rescue personnel.”
The station also reported that Cruz had consumed cocaine and heroin. The video shows someone who appears to be Cruz spitting in Webster’s direction.
Webster then, according to the video, rushes at Cruz and appears to punch him at least twice before other people restrain him.
NBC News does not know what preceded the video or whether it was edited.
Miami police did not immediately respond to emailed questions about the incident, the video and the police report Wednesday.
It was not clear whether Webster or Cruz had been criminally charged.