A Miami firefighter who said he had no regrets after video captured him punching a handcuffed patient in October who allegedly spat at him has lost his job pending an investigation, 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 City of Miami Department of Fire-Rescue, told the news outlet he is not remorseful for attacking a handcuffed patient on Oct. 15 in the emergency room at the Jackson Memorial Hospital.
Webster could not be immediately reached by NBC News on Wednesday for comment.
A representative with the Miami Department of Fire-Rescue responded to requests for comment Wednesday from NBC News about the alleged incident involving Webster with a statement about how a firefighter was relieved of duty pending an ongoing 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 also reported the video, which had no audio, lasted about 40 seconds.
The TV station identified the patient who was handcuffed as Antonio Cruz. NBC Miami obtained a police report of the incident and reported Cruz was “agitated and screaming to the rescue personnel,” according to the police report.
The news outlet also reported Cruz had consumed cocaine and heroin. The video shows what appears to be Cruz spitting in the direction of Webster.
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 if it was edited.
Miami police on Wednesday were emailed questions about the incident, video and the police report, but did not immediately respond.
It was not clear if Webster or Cruz had been criminally charged in connection to the incident.