It was a scene right out of a set from “The Fast and the Furious” movies: A Volkswagen Passat racing through Overtown’s crowded streets — blowing off red lights and stop signs — in pursuit of more than four dozen daredevils racing dirt bikes and ATVs.
Soon, the cops locked on to the Passat, its driver racing north and making it to Biscayne Boulevard before speeding in and out of oncoming traffic. Finally, the Passat crashed into a tree.
Inside the vehicle, police said, cocaine, heroin — and two little boys ages 1 and 2.
“They said someone paid them. That’s their story,” said Miami Police Detective Rene Pimentel.
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Arrested were driver Cedric Cornelius Bethel, 24 and Hailey Jay Magiera, 21. Bethel was charged with driving with a suspended license, fleeing and eluding police, reckless driving, grand theft and child neglect. He remained jailed Tuesday.
Magiera, who at first denied knowing Bethel and said she just caught a ride then later admitted he was the father of her children, was charged with child neglect. The children were turned over to the state’s Department of Children & Families.
“Kids having kids,” Pimentel said.
Police said they first observed Bethel driving the Passat on Northwest 10th Street near Second Avenue just past 5:30 p.m. When Bethel ran a red light, police said, they took off after him. During the chase, which headed mostly north, then up Biscayne Boulevard, police said. Bethel sped in and out of oncoming traffic.
Finally, police said, at Northeast 36th Street he turned east, then hit a tree, bringing the car to a stop. Police said Bethel then got out with his hands in the air. When police looked in the car, they saw the two unrestrained children.
“The one-year-old child under the passenger seat of the vehicle and the two-year-old head- first on top of the center console,” an officer wrote in Bethel’s arrest affidavit.
Another officer took Magiera out of the car and handcuffed her. At first, police said, she denied even knowing Bethel, saying she just caught a ride with them. A short time later she admitted he was the father of her children.
Magiera told police she was paid $100 by one of the bikers to film them riding around town. The drugs, she said, were given to them by the bikers. Magiera had been released from jail by Tuesday.