Jorge Gabrie’s wild motorcycle ride through the Florida Keys left a trail of debris and scattered pedestrians before police finally caught up to him inside the plush Ocean Reef Club.
Confronted, Gabrie told deputies he thought he was on Key Biscayne — another fairly ritzy island enclave — but 60 miles away.
“He didn’t appear to be impaired, just confused,” said Becky Herrin, spokeswoman for the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office.
The episode began Wednesday at mile marker 103 in Key Largo when Gabrie and friend Alfredo Lomando, a reserve Opa-locka cop, were recorded speeding at 90 miles per hour on motorcycles. The entire episode lasted about 30 minutes, police said.
But it was a busy half hour: During that timeframe, one of the bikes was spotted unattended along a state road, the entrance gate to Ocean Reef was smashed to pieces, and residents on foot and in a golf cart at the oceanfront community were forced to scatter to avoid injury.
Gabrie, 27, was arrested and charged with leaving the scene of damaged property, reckless driving, violating a restricted driver’s license, criminal mischief and trespassing. Lomando, 28, was charged with trespassing. Both men were taken to the Plantation Key Jail in Islamorada.
“Gabrie was apologetic and stated that he knew I just had to do my job and he was sorry,” Monroe County Sheriff’s Deputy Timothy Hunsberger wrote in his arrest report.
Opa-locka Assistant City Manager David Chiverton called Lomando’s arrest a concern, and said “we’ll evaluate the circumstances and deal with it accordingly.”
Florida Department of Law Enforcement records say Gabrie is a habitual traffic offender. Including Wednesday’s arrest, it’s the sixth time he’s been recorded driving with a suspended license by police since 2006. FDLE records also show a pair of cocaine possession arrests in 2006.
Accounts from law enforcement and statements from the suspects indicate Gabrie and Lomando were drinking somewhere in Islamorada several hours before the incident, and before they got on their motorcycles to head home to the mainland.
Deputies said they smelled a faint odor of alcohol on both men, but not enough to warrant roadside sobriety tests.
According to the arrest reports, the men were initially spotted by Deputy Frank Crusco near the Marvin Adams Waterway at mile marker 103 in Key Largo riding at 90 mph. Gabrie was on his blue Kawasaki, Lomando on a red bike, its model not mentioned.
Out of caution, Crusco chose not to chase the duo north on U.S. 1. There was too much traffic, he said, and it would have been dangerous. So he radioed ahead to alert other deputies. A few minutes later, the sheriff’s office was called to respond to Ocean Reef, where the front gate had allegedly been breached.
During the drive to Ocean Reef, an officer recognized Lomando’s unattended red bike along the side of State Road 905, an extension of U.S. 1 in Key Largo that leads to the entrance of Ocean Reef. The deputy noted it, then headed to the ocean enclave.
Before deputies arrived, a security guard at Ocean Reef tried to stop Gabrie from entering. He failed. Gabrie swore at him and said “I’m going home,” then crashed through the front gate reaching speeds as high as 60 mph, nearly hitting pedestrians and scattering folks on a golf cart.
Damage was estimated at $400.
The report goes on to say that Gabrie, who told police he’s an Apple technician, locked the brakes on his motorcycle and slid sideways on his bike inside Ocean Reef, before uprighting it and taking off again. Eventually he was stopped by deputies who forced him to the ground and detained him. Gabrie kept saying he needed to call his friend who was a cop.
Not long after, Lomando arrived at the front gate on his motorcycle, yelling, “How do I get to Miami?”
After being told to leave by security, Lomando received permission to enter Ocean Reef and turn around. He didn’t, the report says. Once inside, Lomando drove a couple of miles until he found Gabrie. He was charged with trespassing. Police found a 9mm Beretta handgun registered to Lomando inside a saddlebag on the bike.
Security at Ocean Reef did not return calls for comment.
Guy’s Towing took the bikes to a storage yard in Key Largo. Gabrie and Lomando were taken to jail.