Coral Gables

Hotel worker tried to stop man from stealing van by standing in front of it. He lost his life.

Miami-Dade and Coral Gables police investigate after a man stole a van from a Coral Gables Marriott and then ran over a hotel employee.
Miami-Dade and Coral Gables police investigate after a man stole a van from a Coral Gables Marriott and then ran over a hotel employee. Handout

Eladio Rodriguez-Cristobal tried to stop Edward Reid from taking the hotel shuttle bus by standing in front of the van and waving his hands, police said.

Reid, 40, who showed up at the Courtyard by Marriott in Coral Gables on a bicycle, had entered the driver’s side of the van while Rodriguez-Cristobal, 62, was outside helping three guests board.

That’s when Reid took off with the three tourists — who police say were from London — in tow, striking Rodriguez-Cristobal with the van.

“The victim’s body became lodged near the front left wheel and it was dragged through the parking lot of the hotel,” an officer wrote in Reid’s arrest report, which was released Monday.

The report gave new details on the Saturday incident that began with Rodriguez-Cristobal’s death in Coral Gables and ended in the City of Miami with Reid’s arrest.

Police say Rodriguez-Cristobal parked the van in front of the hotel’s main entrance on Le Jeune Road, left the keys in the ignition with the van running and walked to help the passengers board.

“The defendant shifted the vehicle’s gear to start moving forward,” an officer wrote in the report. “The three guests protested; however, the defendant proceeded to drive the vehicle forcibly confining them against their will and without having lawful authority.”

Lee Cowart, a Miami-Dade police spokesman, said the passengers managed to convince Reid to let them go shortly after he started to drive away.

Cowart said Reid got into at least two hit-and-run crashes before being caught in Miami.

Reid, who is homeless, was being held with no bond in Miami-Dade’s Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center. He faces charges of murder, leaving the scene of an accident and kidnapping.

Carli Teproff: 305-376-3587, @CTeproff

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