Cops ask man in Miami Beach to put away open bottle of tequila, skirmish ensues; 2 arrested

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested two men after, they say, officers asked a man carrying an open bottle of tequila in Miami Beach to conceal the liquor, but a skirmish ensued when he and his friend resisted the officer’s request.

The incident began early Monday morning in the area of Ninth Street and Collins Avenue.

Mitch Novick owns the Sherbrooke Hotel and provided surveillance video from his property’s cameras of the police scene that preceded the dangerous multi-street tussle.

“It’s complete and utter chaos down here,” Novick said. “Spring break in Miami Beach returns. It’s as if I’ve woken up from a COVID nightmare to spring break on Miami Beach.”

During the skirmish, one officer drawed “his department issued firearm,” according to the arrest report.

Police said the incident began after a patrolman asked one of the men to conceal the tequila bottle, but he allegedly did not listen to the officer’s request. Officers then tried to confiscate the liquor, but the man’s friend intervened.

The resisting soon turned into a struggle, a crowd formed, and an officer’s “pepperball gun” was pulled out, according to the arrest report.

One of the men, identified as Justin Wilson, soon ran, and officers said they would run after him on Washington Avenue, then north onto 10th Street, where more weapons were pulled.

According to the arrest report, “Wilson was held at Taser point,” and the encounter would leave an officer with an “abrasion to his forehead.”

Police said Bobby Griffin is the man who refused to stop carrying the open liquor bottle.

He appeared in bond court Monday afternoon facing charges of resisting an officer with violence, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence, but his charges were later dropped.

“Good news for you, sir,” Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Jeffrey M. Kolokoff said. “The state’s decided not to proceed on these charges. Stay out of trouble while you’re in Miami.”

Both men are from the New York area and refused any medical treatment.

Police said in the arrest report that large crowds formed in both locations, and it took a lot of officers to control the them.

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