A South Florida cop told investigators he doesn’t remember slugging a security guard twice in the face while holding his baby after staggering into a private area of the Ritz-Carlton’s parking lot last year.
Fort Lauderdale police officer David Knapp also doesn’t remember how his gun came flying out of his holster during the altercation, landing on the floor.
And that was apparently enough for prosecutors not to charge Fort Lauderdale police officer David Knapp, figuring he was so drunk, they could not prove he intentionally belted the man.
Florida law also forbids carrying guns while drunk, but Knapp also got a pass on that.
Nevertheless, Knapp is now facing a 20-day unpaid suspension from his $81,000-a-year job as a result of the incident where witnesses say he was “extremely intoxicated.”
But he still won’t attribute his lapse of memory to alcohol, saying it could be a result of head injuries he sustained from his altercation with the security guard.
“It could be anything from being tired to being, uh — having had alcohol to having unfortunate injuries due to the event,” explained Knapp, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.
On October 20, 2015, Knapp, 33, spent the day at the beach with his wife and child, sharing a bottle of champagne with his wife.
They then went shopping and made their way to the Ritz-Carlton bar where Knapp downed three Johnnie Walker Black Label drinks.
He then picked up the baby and made his way to the bathroom but wound up wandering into a restricted portion of the hotel’s parking garage where he was spotted by a valet, who saw him staggering around in the parking lot with his baby in-hand.
The valet notified security.
Loss prevention officer Fernando Ramirez began questioning Knapp, but the cop refused to answer questions.
Instead, he flipped Ramirez the bird, then socked him twice in the face – all while holding his baby.
“When Officer Knapp struck Mr. Ramirez a second time, Mr. Ramirez grabbed the child from Officer Knapp’s arms, to prevent the child from falling, and took Officer Knapp to the ground,” wrote Major Karen Dietrich in an internal affairs report.
According to the Sun, Dietrich’s report revealed: “During the physical altercation, officer Knapp’s off-duty weapon flew out of his holster and landed on the ground.”
Investigators claimed they could not specify why the gun came out.
It was only after Ramirez apprehended Knapp when he discovered he was actually a cop.
Then, Ramirez sat on top of Knapp, holding him down, while hotel workers rushed to care for his child.
Meanwhile, Knapp’s wife was still sitting at the bar, wondering what became of her husband.
Ramirez declined to pursue assault charges against Knapp and prosecutors extended officer Knapp some Blue Courtesy by not charging him.
However, Knapp still faces almost three weeks of unpaid suspension.
On August 29th, a Citizens Police Review Board is scheduled to make a recommendation on the disciplinary matter.
Then it goes to the desk of Ft. Lauderdale’s City Manager, Lee Feldman, who’ll make the final call.
And then, of course, there’s police union, who you can be sure will have Knapp’s back.