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Palm Bay police release bodycam of Peter Filiberto arrest

Palm Bay police release bodycam of Peter Filiberto arrest

The Palm Bay Police Department released bodycam footage of then-City Councilman Peter Filiberto being taken into custody. A nighttime traffic stop After falling off his motorcycle earlier this month.

Filiberto, who told the arresting officer he was “enjoying his night,” was still wearing sunglasses when officers searched him during a Feb. 11 stop on Lipscomb Street.

“Seriously?” An officer can be heard saying Filiberto’s card was pulled from his wallet moments later after being handed over. “So you were running,” another unidentified official told the handcuffed 34-year-old while reviewing the first-term council member’s business card.

The arrest of the well-connected, sitting council member — and son of a former Palm Bay mayor — on a felony drug charge prompted immediate calls for Filiberto’s resignation, along with a fellow Republican in a city still reeling from several corruption investigations. Major Rob Medina.

Resignation:Filiberto resigned his Palm Bay City Council seat about a week after his arrest

Skipping meetings:Palm Bay City Council to Draft Letter to Governor DeSantis to Remove Filiberto

More about the event:Councilmember Filiberto’s cocaine-DUI arrest raises questions for Palm Bay council members

Filiberto, who skipped a regular City Council meeting in the days following his arrest, resigned from office Friday. The council, which oversees Brevard County’s largest municipality, will meet Thursday for a special meeting to announce Filiberto’s seat has been vacated. Within 60 days, the council will then meet to appoint someone to the seat. Filiberto won a special election, which cost the city $253,628, to replace then-council member Jeff Bailey, who resigned to take a new job in another state.

Palm Bay, FL City Council candidate Pete Filiberto waves to supporters outside City Hall, Tuesday, Nov. 3, 2020. Mandatory Credit: Craig Bailey/Florida Today via USA Today Network

Filiberto was charged with possession of a controlled substance, a third-degree felony, after police found 10.6 grams of cocaine in his sock in the department’s holding cell, according to an arrest affidavit. Investigators were reviewing other details in the case, including where the cocaine came from.

The arresting officer at the scene was heard saying that Filiberto was coming out of the Driskell Heights neighborhood near South Melbourne and appeared to be hiding in nearby woods. The officer followed him, turned on his lights, and then saw Filiberto accelerate his motorcycle before falling. The bodycam video was released on Tuesday.

The Palm Bay Police Department recently released body cam footage from the stop and arrest of former Palm Bay City Councilman Peter Filiberto.

The Palm Bay Police Department recently released body cam footage from the stop and arrest of former Palm Bay City Councilman Peter Filiberto.

Officers at the scene said Filiberto was “drinking alcohol” as they took him into custody. Another officer read the councilor his rights. Filiberto refused the officer’s request for a field sobriety test, despite a warning that he could lose his right to drive, the video shows.

Filiberto, wearing jeans and a T-shirt, was then taken to the Palm Bay Police Department’s holding area, where a search uncovered cocaine, records show.

At Thursday night's meeting, the Palm Bay City Council voted unanimously to draft a letter to the governor to remove Council Member Peter Filiberto from office.  Filiberto did not attend the meeting.  He resigned the next day.  (Photo: Malcolm Denmark/Florida Today)

At Thursday night’s meeting, the Palm Bay City Council voted unanimously to draft a letter to the governor to remove Council Member Peter Filiberto from office. Filiberto did not attend the meeting. He resigned the next day. (Photo: Malcolm Denmark/Florida Today)

Filiberto was removed from the Brevard County Planning and Zoning Committee on Tuesday. Commissioner Christine Zonca, who appointed Filiberto, has not yet announced the process for electing a new member to replace him. The state attorney’s office formally filed charges in the case this week, dismissing the reckless driving charge. No court date has been set.

JD Gallup A criminal justice/breaking news reporter for Florida Today. Contact Gallop at 321-917-4641 or [email protected]. Twitter: @JDGallop.

This article originally appeared in Florida Today: Bodycam footage shows former Palm Bay officer Filiberto’s DUI arrest





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