APRIL 9, 2014



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Coconut Grove Grapevine

A lot has been said and written in the last couple weeks since the unfortunate injuries suffered by a security guard at the Ultra Music Festival.

Those doing the most talking have been His Ignorance, Mayor Tomas Regalado, and Commissioner Marc “Pussy” Sarnoff.

Both have used the guard’s injury to rail against the Festival, and have promised at this week’s Commission meeting to introduce a resolution to ban the Festival from coming back next year.

Many have speculated that Regalado’s opposition is generational, and Sarnoff’s is nothing but a ploy to extort money from the Festival’s organizers.

What’s been most interesting in all of this posturing and chest beating about the violence and drug taking associated with the festival, is that neither Regalado or Sarnoff have been willing to acknowledge that the single most violent event that ever occurred during the Festival prior to the security guard being injured was the assault by 4 Miami Off-Duty Police Officers on Jesse Campodonico on the first night of the 2011 Festival.

I wrote a long and detailed story about the incident last year, and how Miami Police Sergeant Javier Ortiz crafted a Response To Resistance Report that was designed to cover up the illegal beating and multiple use of a taser on Campodonico.

The sworn depositions of Ortiz, Edward Lugo, Nathaniel Dauphin and Harold James were so contradictory to the statements they were alleged to have made to Ortiz and included in his report that the State Attorney’s Office dropped the original Battery and resisting Arrest With Violence that he had been charged with.

Even with ALL of this information, the State Attorney’s office refused to charge any of the officers for perjury, assault or the illegal use of the taser.

To understand just how egregious the refusal of the State Attorney’s office to go after these 4 cops is, appreciate that Javier Ortiz, who is the president of the Miami Police Department Fraternal Order of Police, and his sidekick, Edward Lugo,  who I have repeatedly labeled as Thugs In Uniform, racked up a combined total 26 Use Of Force complaints, and Lugo was suspended - although he should have been fired - for sitting in the back seat of a federal undercover informant’s car as he was recruited to provide police protection for a drug operation.

As bad as Ortiz and Lugo are Nathaniel Dauphin and Harold James were even worse. Dauphin’s record of domestic abuse, violence and a laundry list of IA investigations that should have resulted in his being fired from the force years ago, eventually led to his and James’ conviction last year for being part of the Gambling Protection Racket of a barber shop in Liberty City, and that prompted Federal Judge Robert Scola during the sentencing of  to James last April to say that, “It seems the City of Miami Police Department has a culture of corruption that exceeds all other police departments.”


In response to the assault he received from these 4 bad cops, Campodonico got a lawyer and sued the City of Miami and the cops.

After all the usual bluff and bluster about how innocent they were, in January the insurance company for Ultra obviously decided that allowing any of the 4 cops to be put on the witness stand so that jurors could appreciate just how violent and dangerous these cops are/were, they decided to settle with Campodonico for $400,000.00. 

While Dauphin and James are no longer cops, Javier Ortiz and Edward Lugo were barred from working off-duty this year by the Ultra Music Festival, which all things considered has to be looked on as a plus for the safety of festival goers.

So, when Regalado and Sarnoff get on their high horses at the Commission meeting on Thursday, they’ll talk a lot of shit, but  probably the one thing they won’t want to talk about is that after almost 20 years, the single most dangerous incident that occurred at the Ultra Music Festival in all those years was Jesse Campodonico getting assaulted by 4 rogue Miami cops.

Here is that settlement.