The IHOP restaurant at South Drive and Northwest 36th Street continues to be a hot spot for vehicle burglars. Therefore, Miami Springs police officers are constantly patrolling the area and detectives often set up nearby in unmarked vehicles.
Surveillance paid off again Oct. 21 around 11 a.m. as Detective Ray Tamargo watched a gray Honda with two men inside back in next to a red Ford Focus with North Carolina plates.
The driver of the Honda stayed in the car as the front passenger hopped out and peered into the out-of-state vehicle. (Police later learned that there was a purse on the back floorboard.)
The passenger then got back into the Honda and the driver moved the vehicle closer to the Ford. The passenger got out again wearing a pair of gloves and holding a screwdriver. He then forced the tool into the Ford’s rear side window until it shattered. By that time, Tamargo had called for backup that was close by and then he drove up and blocked the suspects’ vehicle. Detective Robert Barrios arrived immediately.
The driver hopped out and both suspects ran south toward Northwest 36th Street before looping a U-turn and running north through the parking lot of the Holiday Inn Express next door. Tamargo and Barrios were close behind on foot.
After the suspects jumped the street barricade at the dead-in of the 600 block of DeLeon Drive, they split up and the driver continued south with Barrios hot on his heels. The other man ran east with Tamargo in pursuit. Both suspects ran through backyards.
The northbound suspect, later identified as James Norvil, 30, jumped at least three fences and unknowingly ran through the backyard of an off-duty Miami Springs police officer.
As marked patrol cars moved in, Barrios saw Norvil climb onto a shed to get on top of a cottage behind a home in the 500 block of DeLeon Drive.
“He knew he was caught,” said Barrios. “As he voluntarily climbed down, he kept saying, ‘Don’t Tase me.’ ”
Norvil’s accomplice managed to lose Tamargo in the parking lot of the Ramada Inn a few blocks away. Two police K-9 teams were brought to search the area as a Miami-Dade County Police helicopter circled overhead. However, the second man couldn’t be found.
“I’ll get him,” said Tamargo.
In the meantime, the situation with Norvil was getting awkward. It seems that during the chase, the 6-foot-2, 240-pound ex-con had defecated in his pants. Before putting the suspect in a patrol car, Barrios asked a homeowner for permission to use a water hose and hosed off the soiled suspect.
An officer got a clean pair of pants for Norvil at the station and police later had to bring in a haz-mat service to clean the cell and patrol car.
“Norvil told me he just got out of prison after serving 10 years for attempted murder,” said Tamargo. “This case will probably violate his probation and he’ll have to serve another 10 years.”
After he was placed in a patrol car for a ride to County Jail, Norvil called Tamargo over. Tamargo was asked to call Norvil’s girlfriend and tell her where she could pick up her car. The one Norvil was driving when he parked at IHOP.