A chase that began when a driver struck a pedestrian on U.S. 1 in the Kendall area and fled to Miami Springs came to a deadly ending last week when the driver was found by Miami-Dade Police K-9 teams after a intense manhunt.
The incident culminated around 1 p.m. on July 8 when a physical altercation ensued when police tried to take the man into custody and he was shot and killed by a Miami-Dade Police officer.
Police said the suspect, later identified as Cedric Harvey, 34, was driving a vehicle that had been rented weeks ago with false identification and never returned. After hitting the pedestrian, Harvey fled and struck an unmarked police vehicle driven by a City of Miami Police sergeant.
While speeding north on State Road 836, Harvey caused at least two more accidents before exiting on Northwest 36th Street and heading eastward. Patrol cars from Virginia Gardens and Miami Springs were about two blocks behind the fleeing vehicle when it turned north on South Drive. The driver made a right on Oakwood Drive, stopped and bailed out.
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VG and Springs officers were seconds behind but didn’t see which way the driver ran. There was a pair of pants on the swale outside of the rental vehicle, indicating that the suspect had run northward through a nearby alley.
In the meantime, Miami Springs Police had set up a perimeter, sealing off nearby streets to prevent the suspect from escaping.
Marked and unmarked police vehicles flooded the area because the chase had involved several police agencies and procedure dictated that investigations be made. At one point, besides Miami Springs and VG, police vehicles included Miami-Dade, City of Miami, Florida Highway Patrol, Sweetwater and School Board. A Miami-Dade Police helicopter circled overhead.
Police radios crackled with information on the condition of the pedestrian in the hit-and-run, which is a felony, and a description of the suspect. Miami-Dade County took command of the case and directed the search. (It later was learned that the pedestrian was in serious condition and might lose a leg.)
Miami Springs K-9 officer Darryl Cates and his partner Thor were called to the scene but Thor wasn’t needed. However, Cates accompanied two Miami-Dade K-9 teams as they went down the alley between South and DeLeon drives from Oakwood to LaBaron drives. Other officers checked nearby homes to see if anyone had broken in.
About 20 minutes later, police radios reported “shots fired” and officers raced to the alley behind a home on the southeast corner of South Drive and LaBaron. Neighbor Richard Puyans was on the corner and said he had heard three gunshots.
Rescue No. 35 was there within minutes and parked at the end of the alley. Two paramedics removed a gurney and rolled it up the alley. Moments later they brought the empty gurney back, loaded it on the truck and left. Standard procedure dictated that the victim be examined by the medical examiner before being removed.
Although details of the officer-involved shooting weren’t immediately available from Miami-Dade Police, it was learned from reliable sources that when officers discovered the suspect hiding in overgrowth, he put up a fight. As police tried to handcuff the man, he got one of his hands on an officer’s gun and another officer shot the suspect. How many times was unknown.
Police said Harvey had previous arrests for resisting without violence, loitering and prowling, and cocaine possession.