• Alleged victims in brawl with U.S. Customs officer hire attorney


    ORLANDO, Fla. - Channel 9's Racquel Asa spoke with the victims' attorney after a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officer was accused of helping his son brutally attack tow-truck drivers in Orange County.

    The incident was caught on several surveillance cameras, which show the suspect, Pablo Morales, pulling out a handgun, authorities said.

    Morales pleaded not guilty to charges of aggravated battery and assault with a firearm.

    According to the report, Morales, his son, Diego Morales, and a friend showed up at the tow yard Saturday night after Morales' son's car was towed from downtown Orlando.

    The 15-minute video shows Pablo Morales punch one of the tow-truck drivers, and then everyone jumps into the action.

    Rick Martindale, who is representing the victims, said it is too early to say what kind of legal action he and his clients will take.

    "You've seen the video. It speaks for itself," Martindale said. "But what are our legal options? We don't really know yet, so we are going to explore that in the next week or so and determine what we can do to move forward."

    At one point, video shows Morales reaching into his bag and pulling out a 9mm handgun, waving it from side to side.

    But according to the police report, Morales said he took his firearm out for protection.

    However, after waving his gun, video shows Morales walk toward his son, who is punching one of the victims on the ground, and he joins in while his son kicks the man, authorities said.

    "(The) state is certainly going to argue, look, you went over and joined your son in beating a person who is already on the ground," said WFTV legal analyst Bill Sheaffer. "That may go a long way in defeating his claim of self-defense."

    The victim told Channel 9's Racquel Asa that at one point, Morales showed his federal badge and even identified himself as a federal agent.

    ICE told Channel 9 Morales's firearm was secured after the incident, and the department is investigating. The Department of Homeland Security is also investigating.

    ICE officials couldn't say how long Morales will be on administrative leave. They're also working to determine whether he'll be paid while they investigate the incident.

    Next Up:

  • Headline Goes Here

    Alleged victims in brawl with U.S. Customs officer hire attorney