MIAMI (WSVN) - Police are seeking the public’s help in their search for two men and two women who, they said, beat a man at a “ventanita” in Miami following an argument over wearing a face mask.
According to City of Miami Police, the victim was buying coffee at the counter at the Latin Cafe located along the 800 block of Northwest 42nd Avenue, just southeast of Miami International Airport, at around 6 p.m., July 5.
Investigators said the victim engaged in a verbal dispute with one of the subjects.
“There was some sort of disagreement over mask compliance,” said Miami Police Officer Kiara Delva, referring to the practice of wearing masks as a safety measure to help stem the spread of the coronavirus.
Police said the argument escalated quickly.
Surveillance video captured all four subjects surrounding the victim. One of the male subjects is then seen punching him.
“In the video, you can see where they began physically attacking this victim, resulting in him being disoriented,” said Delva.
Another surveillance camera captured the victim, who was wearing a mask, falling to the ground before the subjects kicked and struck him repeatedly.
Detectives said the victim’s girlfriend, who was waiting in a car, saw what was happening and was hit when she tried to intervene.
“It is fine to approach someone and let them know, ‘Hey, do you have a mask?’ Or even if you have extras, to offer them one, as long as you aren’t confrontational about the matter,” said Delva.
Police said the surveillance footage corroborates both victims’ accounts of the incident.
Monday night, police released a flyer with pictures of all four subjects. They show one of the men at the counter has a mask pulled down, and one of the women is not wearing a face covering.
Investigators said one of the men they’re searching for is between 25 and 30 years old, stands 5 feet, 9 inches tall, weighs around 190 pounds and was last seen wearing a black T-shirt and blue jeans.
The second male subject is also between 25 and 30 years old, stands 5 feet, 7 inches tall, weighs around 220 pounds and was last seen wearing a gray T-shirt and black shorts.
One of the women detectives are looking for is between 20 and 30 years old, stands 5 feet, 3 inches tall, weighs around 190 pounds, and was last seen wearing a black shirt and blue jean shorts.
Police said the second woman is between 25 and 30 years old, stands 5 feet, 6 inches tall, weighs around 150 pounds, and was last seen wearing a blue shirt and blue jeans.
Investigators said they are also looking for two cars captured on surveillance video, a dark blue Hyundai Elantra or a red Hyundai Sonata. They said the subjects could have fled in one of those vehicles.
Miami Mayor Francis Suarez said people could be fined if they’re spotted not wearing a mask or face covering. First-time offenders will be issued a warning.
If you have any information on the subjects’ whereabouts, call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. Remember, you can always remain anonymous, and you may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.
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