Two police officers were confronted by a growling man who threatened to eat them after he was arrested outside of a North Miami Beach chicken restaurant.
The scary scenario, coming after the infamous MacArthur Causeway attack, began after the homeless man cursed out the officers inside a Boston Market at Northeast 163rd Street and West Dixie Highway. The man was arrested — but that’s when the bizarre behavior began.
According to the arrest report, Brandon De Leon, 21, “growled at the officers like a rabid dog” and tried to bite one of the officer’s hands. Just before, he had violently banged his head against a police car’s glass and was transferred to a holding cell at the North Miami Beach Police Department, a few blocks away.
Police say De Leon was on Cloud 9 — a synthetic drug.
Here’s what police say led to the threats:
De Leon walked into the Boston Market with three other homeless men at 5:02 p.m. Saturday and began to curse. As customers stared, De Leon made eye contact with two officers who were eating there and cursed at them. De Leon then yelled at one of the men he had entered with, saying, “Let’s fight.”
The officers, Aldo Alfonso and Juan Ruiz, escorted De Leon outside and put him on the ground. In an incident report, Alfonso said De Leon “tensed his body and clenched his fists,” resisting arrest.
But what happened next, authorities said, was “bizarre and out of control.”
Inside the police car, De Leon began to “slam his head” against the glass divider several times while yelling “I’m going to eat you.”
Because De Leon hurt himself from slamming his head, Ruiz took his blood pressure at the station. That’s when “he growled and opened and closed his jaw slamming his teeth like an animal would,” according to the arrest report.
De Leon once again was held to the ground and then placed in a holding cell. He began to bark and growl and “banged his head repeatedly inside the holding cell.” Alarmed officers went into the holding cell and tried snap on leg restraints, but De Leon tried to “bite the officer’s hand off,” the report said.
De Leon continued to spit, curse and snarl at police so officers put him in a bite mask before taking him to Aventura Hospital for treatment and drug testing.
"We are very pleased that no one got hurt," said North Miami Beach police spokeswoman Kathy Katerman.
De Leon was kept under arrest at the hospital until Tuesday morning. He is at the Miami-Dade County Jail on $7,500 bond.
On Sunday, the day after De Leon’s arrest, North Miami Beach police conducted a panhandler sting — and found a suspect with a Cloud 9 package.