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University of Miami fan who slapped officer before getting popped has to write him apology letter

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Charles Rabin
Miami Herald

The woman who backhanded a police officer across the face at a University of Miami football game had the charges against her dropped Monday — on the condition that she write a letter of apology to the officer who punched her.

Bridget Freitas, 30, will not be charged with disorderly conduct or battery on a law enforcement officer after agreeing to write Miami-Dade police officer Douglas Ross a letter of apology and complete 50 hours of community service work.

At a Monday morning court hearing Freitas was also told she had to fork over $100 to cover the cost of prosecution.

The officer, an 18-year veteran in the warrants bureau, was cleared last week of any wrongdoing despite a cellphone video of the incident showing him throw a hard right-cross at the woman as she was being carried away from the crowd by four police officers.

The incident, captured on a cellphone video taken by a fan, went viral. It was taken during the rowdiest University of Miami football game in almost two decades. On Saturday night, Nov. 4, when UM played Virginia Tech in a pivotal game, fans and police said Freitas was cursing and swinging at people in Section 129 at Hard Rock Stadium.

Police were called. As she fought them by holding onto a railing on the steps, four officers hoisted her onto their shoulders. The video shows a clearly inebriated Freitas with her feet and arms free and swinging wildly. At one point she reaches out to slap Ross and misses. But her hand connects with him on the way back, striking his left eye.

The report released last week by Ross’ supervisor that cleared him said the officer acted instinctively and immediately struck Freitas to subdue her. It found that his actions were within department rules.

The department’s Internal Affairs office never opened an investigation into Ross’ actions because no one, including Freitas, filed a complaint. The Herald made several unsuccessful attempts to contact Freitas, including visiting her home in Broward County.

Freitas is due in court again on Dec. 21 to see whether she is accepted into the pretrial intervention program that is the basis for her plea agreement.

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©2017 Miami Herald

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