MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man accused of posing as police is on the run after a South Beach meet-up turned into an alleyway gun brandishing and pepper spray to the face, all caught on security video obtained exclusively by 7News.
“Why you got a gun?” said a security guard. “Get outta here.”
Footage from Aug. 3 showed a Mango’s Tropical Cafe South Beach security guard interacting with a man wearing a backpack on his chest and what appeared to be a pistol in his hand, at the intersection of Ninth Street and Collins Avenue.
“They gonna shoot anybody, you don’t know,” said a tourist who saw the bizarre encounter from her Sherbrooke Hotel room window with her 13-year-old nephew. “I saw the man, and I saw him screaming, ‘I’m a cop.'”
After the security guard asked the man why he had a gun, the guard approached and sprayed the unidentified man with what seemed to be pepper spray.
The situation became more bizarre once the man started saying what he does for a living. After being sprayed, the man yelled back, “I’m a cop, you [expletive].”
“Oh, alright, well…” said the guard.
But he wasn’t buying it once the man kept repeating it.
“You’ve got a gun right here… Get the cops to the back alley,” said the security guard.
The gunman then yelled out “Mossad,” which is the Israeli Intelligence Agency that he said he’s also a part of, before running off.
The unidentified man hasn’t been spotted since.
Miami Beach Police showed up afterward and later told 7News that the man on video was not one of theirs.
“He said he’s a cop,” the guard told police.
Mitch Novick’s hotel cameras caught the chaos.
“Claims he’s a law enforcement officer,” said Novick. “Could’ve quickly and easily been a deadly situation.”
Mango’s told 7News that they’re aware of the situation but prefer not to comment.
Miami Beach Police provided a statement, saying in part: “…Officers issued a BOLO (be on the lookout) Alert via the police radio and searched the surrounding area to locate the subject.”
“South Beach is not what it used to be. I’ve been going there for over 20 years, and it’s to the point that you don’t wanna go there anymore,” said the witness. “It’s so scary.”
Anyone with information on the unidentified man is urged to call Miami Beach Police at 305-673-7901.
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