A high-speed chase through the streets of Miami ended more than a half hour after it started Friday afternoon, according to Miami Herald news partner CBS4. But the fugitive they were after was in jail by Friday evening.
It was about 2 p.m. when a Miami police sergeant spotted a red Nissan Altima that Lauderhill police had been looking for since the night before.
Lauderhill police said the man driving it, 34-year-old Keith Michel, stabbed his girlfriend several times at their home Thursday night then took off in her Altima.
Michel is charged with attempted murder, with more charges possible.
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He was booked Friday night at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in Miami-Dade.
As a Miami sergeant tried Michel pull over, he stepped on the gas and the chase was on, starting at Northwest 7th Avenue and 13th Street.
The red Mercury would speed up as it moved through intersections, take side streets and almost hit other cars.
At one point, a Miami police convoy of six cruisers pursued him.
“Officers pursued this subject believed to be involved in a homicide through Miami and the streets of Miami,” said Javier Ortiz, head of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police.
There was even a discharge of a firearm at Northeast First Avenue and Eighth Street.
“I was shocked. Very shocked at what was going on,” said North Miami resident Jewel Regnier.
“I saw a car chase downtown. It started in downtown Miami and went by Jackson and the streets,” said Regnier.
The car finally crashed near a North Miami restaurant at 119th Street and 11th Avenue at around 1:50 p.m.
Following the crash, the police swarmed the vehicle but that didn’t stop the driver from reversing. That’s when officers sent in their K-9 units to subdue the driver.
Once the driver stopped reversing, at least a dozen officers ordered him out of the vehicle and onto the ground.
“The Miami Dade Police Department as well as the City of Miami did an incredible job. They used incredible restraint because when that subject put that car into reverse they could have easily shot him and they took into consideration that right behind them was a restaurant with people dining,’’ Ortiz said.
A lunchtime crowd at El Conuquito Restaurant was stunned by what happened.
“What I saw was the car crash and I ran over to the bathroom,” said witness Jesus Campusano.
“Just heard a crash,” said another witness, Patricia Martinez. “Just grateful I got out and ran to the kitchen.”
Said Ortiz: “He took every chance he possibly could, and fortunately our Miami police officers with Miami Dade were able to take him into custody. Thank God nobody else was hurt.”
Police have not identified the suspect.