NORTH MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man was taken into custody following a chaotic confrontation with police officers — just feet away from a restaurant where Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber was dining.
Officers responded to the scene near the Lucali restaurant, located at 1930 Bay Road, Wednesday night.
Officers were originally flagged down by a resident who said the man threatened him and others.
According to an arrest report, the man threatened to “cut their throats.”
“He was a hand grenade ready to go off,” said the bystander man who witnessed the incident. “The guy’s going crazy yelling, screaming profanities.”
Cellphone video captured the man shouting at police.
The man said, when police arrived, the arrest turned into mayhem.
“Every table was full,” he said. “The Mayor of Miami Beach, Dan Gelber, was sitting at the first table.”
Police wrote in their arrest report that the suspect “approached [their] marked vehicle and rapidly became verbally aggressive saying ‘F*** A** N*****, I’LL F*** YOU UP.'”
“‘BOOM!’ They tased him twice. He didn’t even get fazed,” said the witness.
Ultimately, the arrest got physical. However, the cellphone video does not show the arrest.
Officers arrested Travis Hawthorne, charging him with assault on a police officer.
While the arrest was taking place, Gelber was having dinner feet away.
The witness said he asked the mayor to get up from his table and witness the police incident, but Gelber remained seated.
“Ultimately, he’s the top cop,” the man said. “He’s the boss of the chief of police, along with his fellow commission members. If he was able to see what they go through on a daily basis for that one night that he was at the wrong place at the right time, it would have been priceless.”
7News spoke to the mayor, who said he was aware of the man in question and that he called police and made sure an officer arrived there minutes later.
He also sent 7News a text message thread where the assistant chief of police was made aware of the situation.
The mayor also told 7News that the man who took his photo was loud, threatening and cursing at him as he ate dinner with his family. He said he didn’t want to come outside and be a part of the spectacle as the man was being arrested.
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