MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Florida mother who went into early labor after she was allegedly kicked in the stomach by an off-duty North Miami Beach Police officer is sharing her account of the incident that cost the cop her job.
7News cameras captured Evoni Murray as she held her newborn son Joseph, Monday afternoon.
“Six pounds, 4 ounces,” she said, sharing the baby’s birth weight.
The new mother said she feels relieved that the terrible situation she and her boyfriend, Joseph Predelus, went through in Miami Beach last week led to a happy outcome.
“I’m grateful ’cause he’s a blessing,” she said. “I’m grateful because he’s OK.”
Murray was eight months pregnant when, police said, North Miami Beach Police Officer Ambar Pacheco kicked her in the stomach during an altercation in South Beach.
Pacheco was arrested and has since been terminated from her department.
“Anything could have happened,” said Murray.
Murray said she and Predelus were walking along Washington Avenue on Wednesday when they crossed paths with Pacheco.
“Just looking at him, what if I didn’t have him?” said Murray. “Then what? The situation would have been different.”
What happened next is not clear, but Murray 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,” said Murray. “I wish I was a mind reader, but I’m not.”
Murray started to go into labor weeks before her due date of Aug. 4 and prematurely delivered Joseph.
“The pain was really — it was shock,” she said. “I really didn’t have no understanding of anything. I just wanted to make sure my baby was safe.”
Murray said she is touched by the community’s help. Her family will continue to need the community’s support.
“My big concern is that she’s OK, and baby Joe is doing all right,” said Predelus “and, again, I’d just like to thank the community.”
“Listen, I’ve gotten phone calls all the way from India. It’s crazy,” said Murray.
She also said it’s a strange experience to suddenly find herself in the public eye.
“It was so funny. I was in the hospital and, as soon as I had him, I walked to the nursery. I was just being funny, and I said, ‘Little man, you’ve got to make Mommy famous. Come on now,'” she said. “The next morning, I’m on Channel 7.”
Through it all, Murray said she’s certain this is a life challenge she will be able to take on.
“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.”
Pacheco is facing a charge of battery on a pregnant victim.
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