header banner
Default

Rafael Otano, a former Miami police officer, was given a 66-month prison term for kidnapping a homeless man


Table of Contents

    Local News

    / CBS Miami

    Former Hialeah officer sentenced to prison for kidnapping homeless man

    Former Hialeah officer sentenced to prison for kidnapping homeless man 00:39

    MIAMI — A court has sentenced ex-Hialeah Police Officer Rafael Otano to over 60 months in prison and 5 years of probation after he was found guilty of kidnapping a homeless man in August.

    Rafael Otano, 28, will be serving a 66-month-long sentence in state prison, followed by 5 years of probation, the court announced on Wednesday.

    Otano was one of two Hialeah Police Department officers who were accused of beating up a homeless man and then trying to cover up their actions. He had been a member of the force for three years before he was terminated from the job.

    Otano and Lorenzo Orfila — a 23-year-old officer and five-year member of Hialeah Police — were arrested after they allegedly responded to a nuisance call on Dec. 17, 2022, about a man said to be harassing businesses and patrons at a Hialeah shopping plaza.

    That man — identified as Jose Ortega Gutierrez, 51 — was taken into custody and instead of being transported to county jail, prosecutors said Otano and Orfila took him to a dump site before beating him up and abandoning him.

    An off-duty police detective just happened to cross paths in the detective's north Hialeah neighborhood with Gutierrez several hours after the incident and called the police.

    "He had a cut or laceration on top of his head," said the detective, testifying with a condition that he not be publicly identified. "His face looked swollen and bruised. His clothes looked torn and he appeared intoxicated."

    Miami-Dade State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle released the following statement regarding Otano's sentencing:

    "Today's sentencing of former Hialeah Police Officer Rafael Otano marks a sad day for the Hialeah Police Department and for the entire Miami-Dade law enforcement community. When the jury convicted Otano of the armed kidnapping of a homeless man intended to' teach him a lesson', it sent out the strongest message possible that this community is a community of laws which govern us all."

    "Our police officers, who spend every day protecting our community, all understand that one cannot uphold the values of our laws while engaged in actions which violate the law itself."

    Meanwhile, Hialeah Police Chief Goerge Fuente had this to say, "Today the justice system spoke and sent a clear message; one that we stand firm by. The law enforcement community must hold itself accountable and to a higher standard and any officer that violates the public's trust will face the ramifications of their actions."

    "Let me be very clear; the actions that Mr. Otano was found guilty of, do not reflect the men and women of the Hialeah Police Department."

    "The men and women of this agency are dedicated and devoted officers, that continue to protect and serve this city with the respect and loyalty it so greatly deserves."

      In:
    • Homelessness
    • Police Officers
    • Hialeah Police
    • Miami-Dade
    • Crime

    Thanks for reading CBS NEWS.

    Create your free account or log in
    for more features.

    Please enter email address to continue

    Please enter valid email address to continue

    Sources


    Article information

    Author: Michelle Clark

    Last Updated: 1700398803

    Views: 1124

    Rating: 4.7 / 5 (75 voted)

    Reviews: 96% of readers found this page helpful

    Author information

    Name: Michelle Clark

    Birthday: 1954-03-07

    Address: 15032 Sandra Brook, Port Diane, CT 97316

    Phone: +3784750703164272

    Job: Article Writer

    Hobby: Cocktail Mixing, Horseback Riding, Fishing, Playing Chess, Chess, Coin Collecting, Scuba Diving

    Introduction: My name is Michelle Clark, I am a unswerving, valuable, cherished, forthright, strong-willed, bold, resolved person who loves writing and wants to share my knowledge and understanding with you.