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Surveillance Shows Fla. Officer Throwing Woman On Ground

ORLANDO, Fla. --

An Orlando police officer was caught on a surveillance camera pushing a woman down to the ground, where she broke her teeth.

WFTV spoke with the city's new police chief about the incident. The new police chief, Paul Rooney, said the video doesn't tell the full story of what happened that night, when Lisa Wareham was shoved to the ground so hard that she nearly swallowed her chipped tooth.

Iris cameras were recording as Officer Livio Beccaccio responded to a disturbance on Central Avenue in February that seemed to have calmed down by the time he showed up.

Almost immediately, Officer Beccaccio shoved a man, causing him to knock Wareman into a light pole so hard that it shook. Minutes later, Beccaccio grabbed her by the arm and slammed her down in the middle of the road.

Beccaccio then shoved another man as Wareham called for medical help. Both her front teeth were partially knocked out.

"I need an ambulance, downtown Orlando on Rosalind Avenue. I had a police officer knock my front teeth out," said Wareham to the 911 dispatcher.

Officer Beccacio said he used force because she "smacked him on the hand and arm several times," which was never seen in the video.

Attorney Andrew Zelman wants the battery charges against his client dropped and Officer Beccaccio charged.

"If you or I were or anyone else did that to an individual, I think they would find themselves charged with a felony," said Zelman.

Newly-appointed Chief Paul Rooney signed off the defensive tactics report Beccacio filled out for the incident, but admitted on Friday that he did not see the video until this week.

"You have to take everything into consideration. Ok, the fight that was going on and so forth, and again, I can't comment on ongoing internal investigation," said Chief Rooney.

WFTV reviewed reports that show Beccaccio has used force at least 30 times in his nine years with the Orlando Police Department and charged at least seven people with battery on a law enforcement officer.

Officer Beccacio is still working. Chief Rooney said there's no reason he shouldn't be, as the internal investigation is still ongoing.

Prosecutors are trying to determine whether to charge Wareham with battery on a law enforcement officer.

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