Miami Beach SWAT defuses two apartment standoffs

 

cveiga@MiamiHerald.com

The chemical fumes still hadn’t subsided at the apartment that Miami Beach SWAT had just raided when another call for help came in.

SWAT members raced to back-to-back scenes Wednesday on opposite ends of the city, each involving potentially armed suspects who refused to leave their apartments.

The first showdown began shortly after 6 a.m. Wednesday, when a tenant knocked on a neighbor’s door to complain about loud music.

The neighbor was greeted by someone holding either a rifle or a shotgun, Miami Beach Police Sgt. Bobby Hernandez said.

“He didn’t stick around to find out what it was” Hernandez said. “He quickly retreated when he saw the firearm and called 911.”

When police arrived, at 16th Street between Meridian and Jefferson avenues, three people who were in the apartment came out. A fourth person, the neighbor with the rifle, refused to come out.

Investigators tried to establish communication with the man in the apartment, but were unsuccessful, Hernandez said.

“The SWAT team deployed their chemical agents. He refused to come out. ... The SWAT team made entry and they extracted him,” Hernandez said.

The man who holed himself up has not been identified. Hernandez said the man will be charged with aggravated assault, resisting arrest with violence and a slew of other charges.

Police were waiting for the chemical fumes to air out of the apartment when they had to rush to answer another call for help.

A man and woman had locked themselves in an apartment Wednesday afternoon at 7130 Harding Ave. They refused to come out.

Before holing themselves up, the couple fought in the street. Good Samaritans tried to intervene and the man pulled a knife them, Hernandez said. The passersby called police, and the man ran inside an apartment with his girlfriend.

Neither suspect has been identified. Hernandez said the man has a lengthy and violent criminal record.

At first, police weren’t sure whether the girlfriend was being held hostage or if she voluntarily barricaded herself in the apartment with the man.

The two eventually came out of hiding without SWAT having to intervene.

Hernandez said that when the woman came out, she said she wasn’t held against her will. She just didn’t want to deal with the police, Hernandez said.

The man will be charged with battery, aggravated assault and resisting arrest without violence. The woman will also be charged with resisting arrest without violence.

Follow @Cveiga on Twitter.

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