Thursday, November 14, 2013

Passenger falls out of private airplane flying above Biscayne Bay

via the New York Daily News:
Passenger falls out of private airplane flying above Biscayne Bay

A search effort is underway after a passenger fell out of a private airplane some 2,000 feet above Biscayne Bay off the Florida coast.

The pilot of the TA 46 Piper Malibu plane called in a mayday to report a door ajar and a passenger that had fallen out of the six-person plane, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesman said. The plane was traveling around 200 miles per hour when the passenger fell out of the aircraft.

The pilot subsequently safely landed at Tamiami Airport near Miami.

The search is concentrated about eight miles southeast of the airport, the spokesman said.

“We don’t assume anything,” Petty Officer Mark Barney said of the person’s chances of survival. “We’re treating it as a search and rescue operation and going from there.”

Barney said three Miami-Dade Police boats, a Dade County Fire Rescue Helicopter and a Coast Guard rescue boat were participating in the search.

FAA spokeswoman Kathleen Bergen says the call came at 1:30 p.m. Thursday.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Body of Tiffany Cabreja dumped at a South Miami-Dade construction site


An 18-year-old woman found dead and dumped in a South Miami-Dade construction site early Saturday has been identified as Tiffany Cabreja.

Miami-Dade police on Sunday continued to look for a distinct white commercial truck they believe was driven by the man who dumped Cabreja’s body about 8 a.m. A child, 2 to 3 years old, was seen in the truck, escalating the urgency for police to find the vehicle.

Early Saturday, witnesses saw a body fall out of the passenger-side of the truck driving east on Southwest 288th Street as it turned on Southwest 144th Avenue.

A 5-foot-9, black-haired man in his 30s got out and put the body back in the truck. He sported a dark T-shirt and jeans. Not long after, Miami-Dade police officers discovered Cabreja at the nearby construction site.

Video surveillance captured clear images of the open-caged cargo bed truck, which had a roll-up tarp inside. Letters were also visible on the driver’s side door.

The child’s connection to the driver or Cabreja is not clear; her family told authorities she did not have a child.

“Investigators are concerned for the welfare of the child and are seeking the assistance of the community in locating the child,” acording to a Miami-Dade police press release on Saturday.

Authorities have not released a cause of death for Cabreja.

Anyone with information can call Miami-Dade’s homicide bureau at 305-471-2400 or Miami-Dade Crimestoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

-via Miami Herald

Friday, September 20, 2013

Miami Police Chase After Double Shooting Ends With Fatal Crash, Apparent Suicide

Maritza Medina dropped her daughter at school Wednesday morning and never came home.

The 47-year old mother of two crossed paths with a man who had mortally wounded a woman and her daughter, then led police on a wild, two-county chase that ended when he barreled into Medina’s Mercedes in the far reaches of Broward County.

The impact was so fierce that Medina was ejected when her sedan spun around and split into pieces, scattering metal upon a field on the edge of the Everglades along U.S. 27 shortly before 10 a.m.

As the smoke cleared and Broward sheriff’s deputies arrived, the gunman, Antonio Feliu, 48, fired at least one shot, initiating a tense hourlong standoff with SWAT teams armed with high-powered rifles.

Television stations covered the drama live from helicopters as the law officers surrounded his SUV.

Despite knowing Feliu was armed, one Broward Sheriff’s deputy ran out into the open field and dragged Medina out of harm’s way in the hope that she was still alive.

“He certainly put himself in danger to get her to safety, but unfortunately, she had already died,’’ Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said afterward.

The standoff ended when SWAT teams launched a 40mm canister at the gunman’s rear window, shattering it. They found Feliu slumped behind the wheel, dead of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Feliu’s cross-county trail of terror began about 9:30 a.m. when he shot his estranged girlfriend and then turned the gun on her daughter, killing them both in the efficiency they were renting in the 12300 block of 190th Street in South Miami Heights. Neighbors said they heard three shots about 7:30 a.m., but thought it was fireworks.

His ex-girlfriend, Vivian Gallego Martinez, 51, was pronounced dead at the scene. Her 28-year-old daughter, Anabel Benitez, was rushed to Kendall Regional Hospital, where she died.

Homicide detectives are still trying to determine what led to Feliu’s rampage. Records show that Feliu had a litany of traffic infractions and a 2009 arrest for drunken driving. However, there was no history of domestic problems at the address, according to Miami-Dade police.

As police cordoned off the scene, a neighbor recalled seeing Feliu driving the new Mercedes the day before.

“He waved at me yesterday when he drove by. He’s waved before,’’ Clinton Woodson said. But few neighbors knew the family well. The mother and daughter have lived in this country for about five years after emigrating from Santa Clara, Cuba.

The victims’ Facebook pages show them smiling with a newborn infant and fussing over their Yorkshire terrier. Benitez had taken classes at Miami Dade College.

“It’s just a terrible, terrible tragedy,’’ Israel said at a news conference at the scene of the crash.

Meanwhile, by mid-afternoon, cars had filled the driveway at Medina’s home, and family, friends and neighbors struggled with the news.

Her daughter, a high school senior, said she last saw her mother when she dropped her off at school Wednesday morning.

“My dad came to school when I was at lunch. He was crying, and I knew something was wrong,’’ the daughter told WSVN Channel 7.

She said she didn’t know it would be the last time she saw her mother..
“I said ‘goodbye, mom,’ ” the daughter said tearfully of their parting Wednesday morning. “You never really know when you are going to see her for the last time.’’

Neighbors in the upscale community said Medina had been married to her husband, Diego, for about 25 years. She apparently worked in real estate, and records show she also owned a home-improvement business at one time.

“She was always smiling,” said next-door neighbor Ron Dover. “She was just the nicest lady.”

Neighbors said Medina would likely not have been on U.S. 27 had it not been for road barricades that have been the source of an ongoing feud between officials of Southwest Ranches and Pembroke Pines.

In recent years, Ranches closed three north-south streets to prevent Pines motorists from cutting through their neighborhoods. The barricades forced them to take U.S. 27.

“U.S. 27 is known for being dangerous,” said neighbor Frank Crandon. “This should have never happened.”

Medina was the secretary of the Trails of Pembroke Pines Homeowners Association and lived in the well-manicured home with her husband and daughter. Medina also has an older, grown daughter who no longer lives at the home.

Crandon said the family would spend weekends on another property they own in Central Florida, riding horses.

“They were just a good family,’’ he said.

About 5 p.m., two mangled cars were removed from the scene. Zachary Luck, who lives nearby, saw the crash on television. He pointed out that Medina could have been anyone’s mother, daughter, sister or friend; she was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.

“I can’t believe how reckless someone can be,” he said of the man in the Mercedes. “What a coward.”

-via The Miami Herald

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Monday, January 28, 2013

Shots fired at rapper Rick Ross in Ft. Lauderdale

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WSVN) -- Fort Lauderdale Police have gathered dozens of bullet casings from Las Olas Boulevard after someone opened fire on a vehicle. According to witnesses, Rapper Rick Ross was inside that vehicle.

Several gunshots were heard in the area of 1410 E Las Olas Blvd., around 5 a.m. According to locals, they said Rapper Rick Ross was in the Floridian Restaurant celebrating his Birthday and as he left in his Rolls Royce, someone opened fire. Police have not confirmed this information.

The bullets missed the Rolls Royce but the vehicle slammed into the restaurant. Luckily, police said no one was injured by the gunfire. Several businesses in the area were hit by bullets.

The vehicle has since been towed from the scene.

Police continue to investigate.

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Hollywood gas station clerk kills robber

video via WSVN-TV

HOLLYWOOD, Fla. (WSVN) -- A would-be robber is dead after being shot by a store clerk at a South Florida gas station.

The shooting happened just after midnight, Tuesday, at the Exxon near State Road Seven and Southwest 52nd Street. Investigators said two armed robbers barged into the store firing at the store clerk, forcing the clerk to return fire with his own gun. "One tried to rob the gas station, and one was shot by the clerk," said an unidentified employee.

"The clerk was armed, at which point multiple shots were exchanged between the clerk and the suspect; the suspect was struck," said Hollywood Police Sergeant Pablo Venegas.

Police said a homeless man alerted the store clerk prior to the robbery. They said he watched as the two men put on hooded sweatshirts and masks moments before they rushed into the store. "Right behind them, before the clerk had called 911, the suspects entered," said Venegas. "They brandished a firearm."

The wounded would-be robber succumbed to his injuries and died on scene. "It's sad someone died but got to make a living," said the employee.

Police said the second subject was nabbed a few blocks away in a white getaway car.

The store clerk will not face any charges.

Police continue to investigate.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Two killed in police-involved shooting at CVS on Sunset Drive

Via the Miami Herald:
Police have identified the two unarmed suspects who were shot dead by Miami-Dade police Friday afternoon, allegedly after a theft at a nearby drug store.

Yolanda Thomas, 34, and Xavier Tyrell Johnson, 31 were killed after officers responded to a 911 call reporting a theft in progress at a CVS at Southwest 117th Avenue and Sunset Drive.

When two officers arrived, security personnel pointed out a car — an older gray Honda Accord — that was just then fleeing..

The woman, driving north on 117th Avenue, lost control and slammed into a barricade post near Miller Drive, said Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta.

“When the officers tried to get out of their vehicle and approach the other vehicle, she attempted to utilize the vehicle to strike an officer,” Zabaleta said. “Shots were fired.”

Two officers fired into the car, killing the woman and wounding a male passenger, who later died.

Zabaleta said one of the officers has been with the department for five years, the other six years. They were not hurt.

Thomas had an extensive record of arrests dating back to May 2000, including disorderly conduct, strong-arm robbery and battery.