OPA-LOCKA, FLA. (WSVN) - Police arrested a man after he led officers on a high-speed chase that began in Broward County and ended in Miami-Dade.
Officers from several agencies, including Miami Gardens, Opa-locka and Miami-Dade Police, stopped a blue Honda Civic after an extensive chase ended near Liberty Square, Friday afternoon.
The chase began in Hollywood after a battery on a police officer, before the suspect, later identified as 35-time felon Theodore Griffin, led police into Miami-Dade.
“We didn’t know what was going on until I came out and I see the chase,” said said witness Leondra Williams. “I say, ‘Oh, my God, they’re chasing the car, and they caught him right here.”
According to Hollywood Police, the suspect forced a clerk to cash a fraudulent check at a check cashing store near North 28th Avenue and Hollywood Boulevard.
When police responded, they found Griffin in his car. When asked to get out, the suspect hit the gas, struck an officer and took off with one passenger in the vehicle.
7Skyforce hovered above Griffin’s Civic as it sped through traffic and reached speeds up to 85 miles per hour.
The wild ride went through Hollywood, Miami Gardens and even the Florida Turnpike. Cellphone video captured police cruisers weaving through traffic and speeding past drivers.
Griffin then exited the highway, snaking in and out of traffic and losing police with a risky left turn.
Police followed the suspect’s car through Opa-locka before they cornered the Civic near the intersection of Northwest 15th Avenue and 69th Street in the City of Miami, at around around 3:15 p.m.
Griffin was yanked from the side of the car and immediately taken down and arrested. His image was blurred out because his private parts were exposed during the takedown.
“Cops, everybody stopped, everybody was jumping out with their guns,” said Williams.
Both occupants were handcuffed, but the passenger was released after speaking with police. He declined to comment on the incident.
Witnesses who saw the chase come to an end are thankful there were no serious injuries.
“I’m surprised he [didn’t] wreck out. It was just good they [didn’t] hit nobody, and that was a good thing,” said Williams, “because it was a lot of people out here, and so at least he didn’t hit anybody or cause an accident, so I thank God for that.”
A police cruiser damaged in the chase could be seen getting hooked up to a tow truck, late Friday afternoon. The Civic was taken away as evidence.
The chase lasted about 25 minutes.
Griffin’s previous felonies include burglary and narcotics. The relationship between the suspect and the passenger in the Civic remains unclear at this time, as police continue to investigate.
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