The shocking news that Rene Betancourt injured himself skateboarding -- instead of in a brutal beating, as he claimed -- came nearly two weeks after he was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital with a fractured skull and blood clots in his head. His father, Rene Betancourt Sr., and Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes talked about the turn in the case.
The man who claimed he was the victim of a brutal beating in downtown Miami wasn't really attacked and injured himself skateboarding, police said Friday.
Miami Police spokeswoman Kenia Reyes said a surveillance video from a nearby office building showed 22-year-old Rene Betancourt falling off his skateboard.
The shocking news comes nearly two weeks after Betancourt was admitted to Jackson Memorial Hospital with severe injuries he initially said were the result of his being jumped by three black males, police said.
His father, Rene Betancourt Sr., said Friday that he is relieved that his son was not actually assaulted.
"As a father and as a family, we feel a little better that he was not attacked and he’s not going to have to live with that the rest of his life," he said.
According to a Miami Police report of the incident, Betancourt had been attacked in the area of Northeast 3rd Street and Biscayne Boulevard just after midnight on July 7 as he was on his way to meet up with a group of skateboarders.
When doctors examined Betancourt, they found he had a fractured skull, fractured left orbital bone, laceration to his head and blood clots in his head, the report said.
Police say the surveillance video, taken from an office building near Northwest 12th Avenue and 14th Street, shows Betancourt skateboarding and taking a fall and then boarding the building's elevator.
In a statement released Friday, Reyes said the incident has been determined an accident and not a robbery or assault.
She said in an interview that Betancourt will not be charged with filing a false report.
“Because of the extent of the injuries, he never recalled what took place, so it was very inconsistent from the very beginning. So detectives are not charging Mr. Betancourt," Reyes said.
When Betancourt left the hospital Tuesday, a NBC 6 reporter asked him, “Rene, what would you say to the guys who did this to you?”
“No comment,” he said, chuckling.
Betancourt Sr. said then that his son didn't really remember the attack.
On Friday, he said that he had thought that the story about the beating was the real story.
"I thought that the blunt trauma that he had in his head was caused by a blunt force. This is what the doctors said, and of course this is what the detectives said as well," the elder Betancourt said.
Jorge Garcia of the Miami Long Board Crew, who organized a fundraiser for the younger Betancourt last Friday night, said he had suspicions about the story.
"I don't know if he remembers the way it went, I just don't know how three black men were put in the story," Garcia said.