Miami-Dade County

Bal Harbour police chief has heart attack

Chief Mark Overton is Bal Harbour Village's Police Chief. Overton has been Police Chief since January 2014.
Chief Mark Overton is Bal Harbour Village's Police Chief. Overton has been Police Chief since January 2014.

Bal Harbour Police Chief Mark Nathan Overton, a longtime police commander who ushered in sweeping reforms in a police department that had been steeped in scandal, went into cardiac arrest Monday morning, according to Miami Beach police.

The 53-year-old chief was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center and was in the Intensive Care Unit in serious yet stable condition Monday afternoon, according to Bal Harbour City Manager Jorge Gonzalez.

Bal Harbour Village Manager Jorge Gonzalez and acting Bal Harbour Police Chief Miguel de la Rosa express their gratitude for the emergency responders who treated Bal Harbour Police Chief Mark Overton Monday, July 4, 2016. Overton, who went into ca

Miami Beach police and fire responded after a call was received at a South Pointe business in South Beach, where he was working out before heading to a nearby bakery for a snack.

“He was not feeling well and then he had his episode,” Gonzalez said. “He is recovering right now. He has Bal Harbour’s full support.”

Overton is a physical fitness advocate who is known for running, going to the gym and lifting weights.

Gonzalez, Bal Harbour Mayor Martin Packer and other village officials were at the hospital with the chief’s wife and son while he was undergoing surgery. Two stents were inserted in arteries surrounding his heart, and by 2 p.m. he was stabilized, sources said.

Overton was named Bal Harbour police chief in 2014. Prior to that, he served as deputy chief for Miami Beach police in 2012, where he currently lives. Before joining Miami Beach, he served as police chief of Hialeah, where he had been on the force since 1984.

Since his arrival in Bal Harbour, Overton was tasked with overhauling the department, which has been the subject of a federal investigation over a troubled sting operation that took in tens of millions from drug organizations while traveling on first-class flights and staying in luxury hotels.

The chief appeared in a Miami Herald investigative video, License to Launder, saying it did not appear the task force had made any arrests, while laundering drug cash for the cartels and other criminal groups.

The chief pushed for the first audit of the police sting operation bank accounts and procedures to create greater accountability in the department.

The task force, which disbanded before he was hired, is now the subject of a federal grand jury investigation.

“After the big scare this morning the doctors say he is expected to have a full recovery,” said his son Marc Overton, 23. “He’s doing well, he's healthy and he has a room with a view so he can still see the fireworks tonight. My family appreciates the prayers and the love everyone has sent out for him.”

This article will be updated as more information is received.

Monique O. Madan: 305-376-2108, @MoniqueOMadan