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Two Hialeah Police officers facing kidnapping charges

Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation
Miami-Dade County Corrections and Rehabilitation

Hialeah, FL — Two officers with the Hialeah Police department have been arrested on felony kidnapping charges after they reportedly kidnapped and beat a homeless man.
The incident reportedly occurred on Dec. 17.
Documents show that officials were called to the shopping plaza on W. 60th Street due to a disturbance.
27-year-old Officer Rafael Otano and 22-year-old Office Lorenzo Orfila responded to the scene and encountered a well-known homeless man by the name of Jose Ortega-Gutierrez.
Ortega-Gutierrez was put in handcuffs and driven away from the scene, surveillance video shows.
Investigators say instead of driving Ortega-Gutierrez to jail, the officers drove the homeless man to an isolated location where they beat him while he was still handcuffed and left him there.
Ortega-Gutierrez says he lost consciousness during the beating and woke up unhandcuffed, alone, and bleeding from his head.
Ortega-Gutierrez began walking and encountered an off-duty officer walking a dog. That officer called 911 on Ortega-Gutierrez’s behalf and got him to the hospital.
Investigators found that while officers were investigating Ortega-Gutierrez’s story, Orfila made contact with one of the officers and asked the officer to classify the 911 call as “no report. ”
Orfila then told the officer that he picked the homeless man up and “roughed him up.”
Once Ortega-Gutierrez was released from the hospital, he reported that he was approached by a man who identified himself as a private investigator.
The man, later identified as 45-year-old Ali Amin Saleh, offered Ortega-Gutierrez $1,200 in cash to sign an affidavit that said he was arrested for drinking and hadn’t been beaten by the officers.
Ortega-Gutierrez says though he can’t read, he signed the affidavit and took the money because he is homeless.
During the investigation, authorities also found that Otano and Orfila were operating outside of their assigned sector that day, neither of them had their body cameras on during the encounter, and surveillance video from the original scene revealed that there was no reason for them to take the homeless man into custody.
Both officers turned themselves in on Thursday. They are facing charges of armed kidnapping and battery. Orfila faces an additional charge of official misconduct.
Saleh was also arrested. He is facing a charge of tampering with the victim.