MIAMI, Fla. (WFLA) — A Miami firefighter who was caught on video punching a handcuffed patient on a stretcher told NBC affiliate WTVJ that he has no regrets over his actions.
Robert Webster was relieved of his duty as a lieutenant with the Miami Fire Rescue after the Oct. 15 incident, the department said.
The video from Jackson Memorial Hospital is about 40 seconds long and has no audio. It shows the patient, identified in a police report as Antonio Cruz, spitting in the direction of Webster’s face. Webster then starts swinging and punching Cruz several times as his coworkers tried to stop him.
WTVJ reported that Cruz was brought to the emergency room after consuming cocaine and heroin. Police told the news station that Cruz was “agitated and screaming to the rescue personnel.”
Webster told WTVJ that he had no regrets after the incident.
“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,” Webster told NBC 6.
The City of Miami Department of Fire Rescue said that Webster was immediately relieved of duty following the incident.
“Our department is conducting an administrative investigation while this individual remains in a Relieved of Duty status,” a statement read.
In 2019, the news station reported that Webster found nooses hanging over his family pictures.
“I want justice, I want to love this job again,” Webster told the WTVJ in 2019.