Police Arrest Son Of Rep. Carlos Gimenez For Allegedly Slapping Miami Official At Steakhouse

Mary Rooke Staff Writer
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The son of Republican Florida Rep. Carlos Gimenez was arrested Wednesday after allegedly assaulting Miami city commissioner Alex Diaz de la Portilla at a popular steakhouse in Coral Gables.

It is unclear why Carlos J. Gimenez, a lawyer and lobbyist, allegedly slapped the unsuspecting Portilla at Morton’s Steakhouse on Wednesday afternoon. The Gimenez and Portilla families have a long history in Miami politics, according to the Miami Herald, which described the two as “members of powerful political families with ties going back more than a decade.”

Portilla called the act “cowardly” and admitted he wasn’t aware the smack was coming, according to the Miami Herald.

“It was more like a flick of his wrist from behind me when I was having lunch as he cowardly approached me from behind and ran away,” Portilla said in a statement. “This guy is not known as a very courageous guy.”

Portilla accused Gimenez in his statement of being under the influence during the attack.

“There was some kind of conversation and a slap,” said the Coral Gables Police Chief Ed Hudak, according to the Miami Herald. Hudak called the altercation “unremarkable,” and he is speaking to the public about it because of “who everybody is,” according to the Miami Herald.

Police arrested Gimenez, charging him with a single count of simple battery, according to NEWS7.

“That’s what was indicated to us: that there was a slap either to the back or the back of the head,” Coral Gables Police Chief announced, according to NEWS7. “The sergeant of arms, the City of Miami police officer that is assigned to the commissioner took action and affected an arrest detaining the individual on the scene until our units arrived.”

Rep. Gimenez said he was “not happy” about his son’s actions, NEWS7 reported. (RELATED: Republicans Carlos Jimenez And Maria Elvira Salazar Topple 2 Democratic Congresswomen In Florida)

“Whenever a son, friend, or relative is arrested, it’s not a good day and so obviously not happy with what happened,” Gimenez told the outlet. “I understand it’s a simple battery, something I guess is between the two of them, and we’ll let the legal system work itself out.”