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Police chased the suspects' small fishing boat for several miles, following them along the canal in police cruisers. Miami-Dade Police spokeswoman Rosanna Cordero-Stutz and neighbor David Nunez addressed the incident, which Nunez called "incredibly bizarre."
The three men arrested in the bizarre boat chase that ended in a canal in Kendall have been identified and charged, police said Friday.
Joseph Anthony Shepherd, 37, Mark Lewis Hartman, 25, and Lee Edward Hartman, 24, are all facing charges in the police pursuit that ended early Thursday, Miami-Dade Police said.
Police say the chase began around 1 a.m. when an off-duty officer who lives near a canal in the area of Southwest 8th Street and Southwest 74th Avenue near the Palmetto Expressway heard gunshots coming from the small fishing boat.
According to Miami-Dade Police arrest affidavits, the men were shooting at ducks in the canal.
When officers responded, a chase ensued for several miles, as officers driving along the canal in police cruisers kept pace with the boat.
The situation nearly turned deadly when the suspects raised their firearms at officers and the officers opened fire, the affidavits said.
After nearly an hour, the suspects gave up and were taken into custody on the bank of a canal in the area of Southwest 112th Avenue and N. Snapper Creek Drive, police said.
No officers or bystanders were injured, but one of the suspects was treated for a minor injury after he was grazed by a bullet, police said.
When officers inspected the boat, which was outfitted with a small pirate flag, they found at least one firearm, police said. According to the affidavits, a .22 caliber handgun and an air rifle were seized.
Shepherd was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm and improper exhibition of a firearm. Mark Hartman was charged with aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer with a firearm, improper exhibition of a firearm and fleeing or eluding on a boat.
Lee Hartman was charged with improper exhibition of a firearm.
The three men were booked into the Dade County jail. It's unknown whether they have attorneys.