<![CDATA[NBC 6 South Florida - South Florida News]]> Copyright 2016 http://www.nbcmiami.com/news/local http://media.nbcbayarea.com/designimages/NBC+6+LOGO+GOOGLE.png NBC 6 South Florida http://www.nbcmiami.com en-us Mon, 08 Feb 2016 03:16:05 -0500 Mon, 08 Feb 2016 03:16:05 -0500 NBC Owned Television Stations <![CDATA[Firefighters Battle Blaze in Little Havana]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 17:05:32 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/fire+little+havana.jpg

Miami Fire Rescue extinguished a fire that set a strip mall ablaze at southwest 8th street between 11th and 12th avenue Sunday morning.

Fire Rescue received a 911 call from a passerby who observed large amounts of smoke coming from the rooftops of multiple businesses.

"The fire made its way into the attic ans several areas of a dropped ceiling which made it difficult for firefighters to reach the flames," said captain Ignatius Carroll, City of Miami Fire Rescue.

The intense smoke and flames took about an hour to contain.

In total, four businesses were affected. One business in particular, Adela's Costume Shop, was completely destroyed by the fire.

No one was injured and all business owners are aware of the situation.

The cause of the blaze is still under investigation.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Police Searching for Miami Beach Armed Robbers]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 17:33:58 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/160*137/aremd+robbers%27+car.jpg

Police have detained and are interviewing four persons of interest in relation to an armed robbery in Miami Beach Sunday morning.

The armed robbery occurred at 73 Harding avenue around 10:21 a.m.

According to police, when they arrived to the scene the robbers fled in a silver Nissan Altima, Florida tag CPMN80. An officer pursued the robbers into the City of Miami, where they rammed into the Miami Beach police cruiser disabling the vehicle, and fled.

The officer suffered no injuries and will not need to be transported.

The vehicle was found at the 1000 block of southeast 5th street in Hialeah.

A female at the scene of the armed robbery was robbed and sustained a head injury. The woman had to be transported to Mount Sinai Hospital. Police believe she may have been pistol-whipped or hit with a taser when she was walking to her car.

This is a developing story. Check back with NBC6.com for updates.

Photo Credit: Miami Beach Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Truck Strikes and Kills Pedestrian: Ft. Lauderdale PD]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 12:16:27 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/police-tape-shutterstock_5628043315.jpg

A pedestrian was killed after being struck by a car in Fort Lauderdale Saturday evening.

The collision occurred in the 1800 block of South Federal Highway around 7:40 p.m.

According to police, Jeffrey Kwolik, 48, was walking across the the northbound lanes of South Federal Highway when a black Ford pickup truck, traveling northbound on South Federal Highway, struck him.

Kwolik was transported to Broward Health Medical Center where he was pronounced dead.

The investigation is ongoing and there is no indication that alcohol played a role. No charges have been filed at this time.

Anyone with information regarding this incident should contact Traffic Homicide Investigator at 954-828-5753.

Photo Credit: Shutterstock]]>
<![CDATA[Keys Man Stabbed in the Neck: MCPD]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 16:20:53 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/Police+Siren+Generic+123.jpg

Monroe County Police Department is reporting a man was found on Big Coppitt Key suffering from a neck wound.

The incident occurred around 11:30 p.m. Saturday evening.

Oleimys Clemente, 39, was found by his sister and a neighbor on the street profusely bleeding from his neck.

The injury was possibly caused by a broken bottle found nearby, police say.

According to the victim's sister, she saw her brother arguing with two men just before finding him injured in the street.

Clemente was taken to Lower Keys Hospital, then airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami. His condition is unknown at this time.

<![CDATA[Pet of the Week: Biff]]> Sun, 07 Feb 2016 11:03:09 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/pet+of+the+week.jpg

Our pet of the week is Biff. Biff is a one year old boxer mix and weighs 58 pounds. Biff is looking for his forever home.

Lisa Mendheim with Broward Animal Care stopped by NBC 6 on Sunday with Biff. She said Biff is very smart and friendly.

Biff would make a great family pet.

If you're interested in Biff or other animals up for adoption, contact Broward Animal Care at (954) 359-1313.

For more animal news, visit our All About Animals section.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[4 Hospitalized in Hit-and-Run at Liquor Store: Miami PD]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:28:46 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/hit+and+run20.jpg

Miami Police are investigating a hit-and-run that occurred around 3:30 a.m. Saturday morning.

The incident took place outside of a liquor store located at northwest 13th avenue and 43rd street.

According to police, all of the occupants, with the exception of the driver, went into the liquor store. When they walked back outside to get in the car, a white Mercedes SUV rear-ended the blue Chevy at high-speed and fled.

Four people were transported to Ryder Trauma Center and all have non-life threatening injuries. The driver, who stayed in the car, suffered the worst injuries.

Police located the vehicle matching the description parked outside a home located at the 1300 block of northwest 43rd street. A warrant was served for the vehicle and the SUV has been towed away

Police have attempted to make contact with the residents, but the residents have been uncooperative.

The residents have not been taken in for questioning.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Officers to Participate in 'Operation Heat Shield' ]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 18:29:29 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/operation+heat+shield.jpg

Multiple agencies will participate in emergency training exercises in South Florida this weekend.

The Miami Police Department will join the Miami Dade Police Department and the Miami Fire Department in conducting simulated events to test the emergency responsiveness of multiple agencies.

The drill has been entitled, "Operation Heat Shield." The drills will include: active shooter scenarios, hostage rescues, aircraft hijackings and attacks, Coast Guard emergency scenarios, as well as other simulated threats.

The following locations will be hosting the drills: government center in downtown, Miami-Dade mental health facility, Miami International Airport, USCG station in Miami Beach , MDPD headquarters, Stiltsville, Booker T. Washington High, Marlins Park.

There will be road closures around the Miami Dade Government Center and the Juvenile Courthouse from 7 am to 1pm. The closures will be on NW 2nd Avenue to NW 1st Avenue from NW 1st Street to NW 5th Street.

There will also be road closures around Marlins Park will be from 6:00 P.M. to 1:00 A.M. The closure will be on NW 14th Avenue to NW 16th Avenue from NW 3st Street to NW 7th Street.

Miami Police officers will be posted throughout the event to assist motorists and pedestrians in the area.

The project is being funded by the Urban Area Security Initiative under the Department of Homeland Security.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Police Department]]>
<![CDATA[Bodies Found in Submerged Car Identified as Missing Couple]]> Sat, 06 Feb 2016 16:04:57 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/020316+missing+miami+couple.jpg

Authorities have identified the bodies found in a car submerged in water in southwest Miami-Dade as a young couple who went missing earlier in the week.

The medical examiner's office has confirmed that the bodies of Alexandra Picon and Brandon Arana were in the car, Miami-Dade Police said Friday.

The red Toyota Corolla was found Thursday morning in the area of Southwest 268th Street and Southwest 111th Avenue, police said. A nearby guardrail was damaged and debris, including car parts, were laying on the ground.

Police and family had been search for Picon and Arana, both 21, since they vanished Sunday morning. Detectives said the couple, who were last seen leaving the Cadillac Ranch at Town & Country Mall, had left together in the Corolla. The vehicle's SunPass account registered them passing the Kendall Toll Plaza headed southbound on the Florida Turnpike.

Police are investigating how the car ended up in the water but said it appears to have been a traffic crash.

A memorial service for Alexandra Picon will be held Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Van Orsdel Funeral Chapels and Crematory located at 11220 north Kendall drive in Miami.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[SAS Student Excels Academically Despite Cancer Diagnosis]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 20:17:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020516+sterling+velazquez.jpg

In a school full of shining stars, a kid named Sterling may be setting a new standard for brightness, not to mention courage and perseverance. There's no way a little thing like stage 4 lymphoma was going to tarnish his ambitions.

"It's been hard but I love the challenge," said Sterling Velazquez, a senior at the School for Advanced Studies, SAS, at the Miami-Dade College campus in Kendall.

Everyone at SAS takes college-level classes. Students graduate with a high school diploma and an AA degree, and often go on to the nation's most prestigious universities. It's an academically demanding, extremely rigorous curriculum, and it's exponentially harder if you're enduring a brutal chemotherapy regimen.

"Even though he's dealing with an illness, he still shows up to school, doesn't use the illness as an excuse. He's able to obtain stellar grades. He's really an inspiration for everyone here," said SAS Principal Omar Monteagudo.

Sterling received the diagnosis 2.5 years ago, just after he was admitted to SAS. It was stage 4 acute lymphoblastic lymphoma, a horrible form of cancer which, at that stage, is usually fatal.

"It was devastating at first, but a couple of weeks later, I got up and just thought to myself there's no way I'm gonna give up all the hard work that I've been through and just sit in bed all day. So I got up, I went on my computer and started signing up for some classes online. I took calculus the whole year on my own, aced that class," Velazquez said.

The young man aces just about everything. He's taking college calculus, physics, chemistry, English literature, and more. No easy classes in the list. If not for missing some days of school because he had to get chemotherapy treatments, Sterling feels like he would have straight A's right now.

"I love pushing myself through classes like that, and the feeling of satisfaction you get when you get a great score," Velazquez explained. "Dealing with this, I had no idea just how hard things could be and it's something that you can't possibly be prepared for."

His classmates appreciate how hard Sterling's path has been. He doesn't advertise his struggles, but there's no question Sterling's presence inspires his friends.

"He's such an intellectual kid, and seeing that he went through all that and still managed to keep up his academic, it's amazing," said Carlos Vegas, also a senior at SAS.

Classmate Alina Abrantes agrees, "Sometimes you're like, oh, I can't do it. It's too much for me. I'm just gonna quit, and then you see someone like Sterling, pushing himself through all of his problems, which are greater than my problems, at least, and I'm like well, if he can do it, I can sure as hell do it."

Some days, the chemo saps all of his strength, but Sterling wants to be a computer engineer, so he never uses his medical issues as a crutch.

"I didn't want to take advantage of that, so I guess my message is even in your lowest moments just pull through. There's a time when you're going to get through this and you're going to feel just so overjoyed and satisfied that you can come out of this and be a better person," Velazquez said.

The cancer treatments have weakened his legs to the point where Sterling uses crutches, but he keeps moving forward, hoping for an Ivy League future, and he's gaining emotional fortitude with every step of his journey.

SWAG on 6 (Students Working At Greatness) is a new feature on NBC 6 highlighting students who rise against all odds and continue to succeed.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Father of Four Fatally Shot in Allapattah]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:34:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020516+aaron+parish.jpg

A 44-year-old husband and father of four was fatally shot early Friday in Allapattah, neighbors and Miami Fire Rescue confirm.

Friends and neighbors have identified the victim as Aaron Parrish. According to MFR, they were called to an apartment building in the 2000 block of Northwest 31st Street around 1 a.m. after neighbors reported hearing multiple shots.

A neighbor told NBC 6 that he walked outside and saw Parrish lying on the ground suffering from gunshot wounds. The neighbor says Parrish live in an apartment with his wife and four children.

MFR pronounced Parrish dead on the scene.

An investigation into his death is ongoing. A suspect has not been identified. Anyone with information is asked to contact Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

A GoFundMe page has been set up for Parrish's family to help with funeral costs and to support his children.

<![CDATA[JMH Fires 2 Workers for Accessing Pierre-Paul Records]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:38:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/180*120/GettyImages-455434102.jpg

Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami has fired two employees in connection with the release of the medical records of New York Giants defensive end Jason Pierre-Paul last year.

The employees weren't identified in a statement released Friday by Jackson Health System.

"During the investigation of a breach that occurred in July 2015, Jackson Health System became a party to related litigation. It is our policy that we do not comment during pending litigation. That litigation has now been settled," the statement read. "As part of our investigation into the breach, it was discovered that two employees inappropriately accessed the patient’s health record. That finding resulted in the termination of both employees. Protecting the privacy of our patients is a top priority at Jackson Health System. Any time we have allegations of a breach, we immediately and thoroughly investigate."

Pierre-Paul was injured while lighting fireworks during during July 4 celebrations in Coral Springs. He later had his right index finger amputated.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Olympic Gymnast Danell Leyva Sits Down With NBC 6]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:56:36 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020516+danell+leyva.jpg Hometown gymnast and bronze medalist Danell Leyva is obsessed with winning gold at the Olympic Games, but this time around, he's switching things up and hopes to makes history with his own special move on the parallel bars. NBC 6's Julia Bagg has the story.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Memorial for Local Pastor Killed in Terrorist Attack]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 21:15:39 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/burkina-faso-victima.jpg

The killing of a youth pastor is a loss so great it stretches from the deserts of Africa to South Florida.

Now, on the eve of celebrating Mike Riddering's life, his widow and older brother spoke with NBC 6 about the faith that carries them through the pain.

"His message of his life and his testimony and love is able to make a difference to many many people, this story that's being told, that is what gives me comfort," widow Amy Riddering said.

"When I think of Mike I think about joy and it makes it easy for me to speak in public," brother Jeff Riddering said.

Mike Riddering, a missionary in the landlocked country of Burkina Faso, was one of two dozen people killed on Jan. 15 when Al-Qaeda linked militants attacked the nation's capital.

Riddering was inside a cafe waiting for other missionaries to arrive from South Florida when the gunmen entered and opened fire.

"It was probably 20 hours of misery of trying to figure out where is he, what is happening, not knowing much," Amy Riddering said.

The couple had moved to Africa four years ago to serve the locals as part of a service group called Sheltering Wings. The group runs a women's center, medical clinic and an orphanage, all of which are now in mourning.

"He was a father figure for a lot of kids who never had the love of a father, so they lost their dad," Amy Riddering said.

Mike's life and love for God will be celebrated at Hollywood Community Church Saturday afternoon. He has already been buried where Amy said he truly belonged.

"Every single time he would say, 'I'm going to be buried on African soil, this is where I will be for the rest of my life' so of course that's where he was going to be buried," she said.

The couple adopted two children in Africa and they also have two daughters in South Florida.

Photo Credit: NBC]]>
<![CDATA[Behind the Walls of Guantanamo Bay Cuba]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:16:19 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020516+guantanamo+bay+exclusive.jpg

NBC 6 received an exclusive look inside the detention camps at Guantanamo Bay Cuba as the debate rages on: What should happen to, who some call, the world's most dangerous men?

Soon, alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed will return to a courtroom, putting the focus on him and others held there.

Bomb-makers, terrorist trainers and body guards to Osama bin Laden. That's how the United States Government describes the men being held at Guantanamo Bay Cuba.

NBC 6 cameras captured the detainees talking, gesturing and getting water from guards during an afternoon meal. Those whose job it is to guard them say there is always danger.

"We can't forget that the detainees that are here, at one point, had for their objective kill Americans and given the opportunity, they would continue to do so," said Rear Admiral Peter J. Clark, Commander Joint Task Force at Gitmo.

"Certain detainees will collect and store bodily fluids: urine, feces, vomit, and if they can get that opportunity to throw that on a guard, they will," said Col. David Heath, Joint Detention Group Commander.

There are about 2,000 members of the Joint Task Force; men and women assigned to watch these detainees around the clock. The number assigned to Gitmo has stayed the same in the last decade, but the number of detainees has dropped to 91.

Their days are spent in cells, at a cost to taxpayers at nearly $400 million a year. President Obama has called for Guantanamo Bay to be closed since he came into office. Protesters recently rallied against it in Doral and want it shut down as well.

But there are those who argue they don't want detainees on U.S. soil, and worry that if released, they could attack Americans.

One man who spoke with NBC 6, originally from Jordan who now works as a conduit between detainees and guards, said many of those approved for release now speak English. But he can't answer whether they will return to fighting against the U.S.

"When they first came here, they had a certain picture about America and Americans. Now they've lived with us, their views have changed. I'm not discussing the point, are they going to go back to the fight or not? No one can guess that," he said. "We have seen that change."

Commander Clark knows the possibility exists that Gitmo could close, and said the troops will continue to do their duty until a decision is made.

"There is a lot of uncertainty the remainder of this year and moving forward. We are preparing. We are looking ahead at what the feasibility would be of doing any of the available options," Clark said.

Alleged 9/11 mastermind Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, and the others charged with plotting 9/11, aren't going anywhere but from their classified location in the camps to court this month. They could get the death penalty.

For 47 others not charged or slated for release, and for the more than 30 detainees with basically no place agreeing to accept them, for now Gitmo is home.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Man Threw Brick Through Comcast Window: Davie Police]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 16:48:50 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020516+davie+comcast+brick+tosser.jpg

Police are looking for a man who was caught on camera throwing a brick through the front door of a Comcast office in Davie.

The incident happened Jan. 28 at the office at 6565 Nova Drive, Davie Police said.

Police said the suspect is apparently unhappy with their service and left a note saying "Dear friends, the next one will be on fire. Please remove your nonsense from my phone. Your Pal, Friendly Neighborhood Spiderman."

Anyone with information is asked to call Broward Crime Stoppers at 954-493-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Davie Police]]>
<![CDATA[Taekwondo Instructor Accused of Molesting Two Girls]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 23:40:20 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020516+rafael+negron.jpg

A Miami Taekwondo instructor is facing multiple molestation charges after authorities say he inappropriately touched two young sisters who attended his classes.

Rafael Negron, 64, was arrested Thursday on charges of lewd and lascivious molestation on a child under 12, lewd and lascivious molestation on a child between 12 and 16, and lewd and lascivious exhibition on a child under 16.

Negron was being held Friday without bond after an appearance in court, where he was ordered to have no contact with the sisters. It was unknown if he's hired an attorney.

No one was at the martial arts studio Friday and when NBC 6 called the number, there was no answer.

According to an arrest report, the sisters, ages 10 and 15, had been attending classes with Negron off and on for the past five years and he would sometimes pick them up from school and they would run errands with him.

The girls' mother later found inappropriate text messages on the teen's phone from Negron, the report said. Negron messaged the teen that he felt lonely and he would invite her to his place and asked her to be his baby, the report said.

The teen didn't respond to the messages but Negron later told her he wanted to be her sugar daddy and that he would spoil her if she had sex with him, the report said. He told her it could be their secret, the report said.

According to the report, the teen said Negron fondled her over her clothing, exposed himself to her and made sexual advances to her. He also kissed her on the neck and made her touch his penis, the report said.

The incidents happened while no other students were around or when they went to a park, the reports said. The younger sister also told detectives that Negron fondled her over her clothing, the report said.

Negron denied touching the girls inappropriately while speaking with detectives, the report said.

Police said there could be more victims.

"We believe he could have more victims since the majority of students who attend the school are children," Miami Police spokesman Ernest Lawrence said.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

Photo Credit: Miami-Dade Corrections]]>
<![CDATA[Man Arrested for Flashing Kids at Playground: Police]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:46:22 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/rickie+hoggins.jpg

A man was arrested Thursday for allegedly exposing his genitals to a group of juveniles at a Sunrise playground. 

Rickie Levon Hoggins, 30, was arrested Thursday by Sunrise Police for an incident which occurred on Jan. 31 in the 5000 block of Northwest 17th Place in Sunrise.

According to police, a group of juvenile girls were playing in a park when a Jeep approached them. The driver of the car stepped out, lowered his pants, and began to masturbate, exposing himself to the group of girls.

Hoggins' bond has been set at $500,000 and he faces charges of lewd and lascivious exhibition.

The Sunrise Police Department is asking any other victims to please contact them at 954-746-3537.

Photo Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office]]>
<![CDATA[Some Weekend Showers, Plus 'Winter' on the Way!]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:53:17 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/WTVJ_000000022073409_1200x675_617029699857.jpg Our Friday afternoon looks good, but Ryan Phillips says showers may return to the forecast by the evening. By Monday, it will feel like winter.]]> <![CDATA[Boy, 8, Tried to Rob Florida Store at Gunpoint: Police]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 18:30:40 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020516+8-year-old+west+palm+beach+armed+robber.jpg

An 8-year-old boy was detained after he was caught on video allegedly trying to rob a West Palm Beach store with a loaded gun, police said.

The incident happened Wednesday evening at the King Foods and Meat Bazaar and was caught on the store's surveillance camera, according to a report from WPTV.

Video showed the boy, who was wearing a motorcycle helmet, approach the cashier and point a gun hidden underneath a sweater. He allegedly told the cashier "give me the f---ing money," the report said.

The clerk was able to take the gun from the boy and hold him until officers responded. The boy was hospitalized for his own well being, WPTV reported.

Authorities said the boy stole the gun from his mother. The state decided not to press charges but the boy must attend a diversion program and was ordered to stay away from the store.

Photo Credit: King Foods and Meat Bazaar/WPTV]]>
<![CDATA[Owning a Kinkajou: Is it for You?]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 15:13:54 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020416+kinkajou.jpg

Kinkajous have been all the rage ever since a South Florida woman woke up with one on her chest last week. And although the creatures are cuddly and cute, they can be quite a bit of work.

But let's back up. What exactly is a kinkajou?

"They are mammals belonging to the raccoon family," said Lauren Elizabeth, an exotic animal caretaker at Fowl Mouth Farm. "They're native to Mexico, Central America and parts of northern South America."

If you want to own one of these cute creatures, you need a "no-cost personal pet permit" from the Florida Wildlife and Conservation Commission. The permit is free, but you need to complete a questionnaire in order to obtain it. In addition to the permit, you will need a certified breeder.

"You would like to look for a USDA and Florida Wildlife licensed breeder," said Elizabeth. "It's a good idea to ask for the breeders' license number and to verify through the organizations that they are licensed, because it is a legal issue."

If you're still considering getting yourself a kinkajou, experts say you should know what you are getting yourself into. First, do a lot of research. Kinkajous are omnivores and are awake at night. Don Harris, a veterinarian, said, "You better be a night owl. Because this is a nocturnal animal, non-negotiable."

And although cute, these animals can be pretty slick, as they have tendencies to open things that aren't carefully closed.

"They can figure out things and they're fairly smart," Harris said.

One owner said despite the tedious process of getting the kinkajou and it being nocturnal, it's totally worth it.

"What is there not to love about this little ball of fur? She's sweet, most of the time," said Shayna Lee. "She's hilarious, she cracks me up."

Lee said it's an animal that requires a lot of research, knowledge, time, attention and most of all: money. But if you take the right steps, you can safely and responsibly care for one of these adorable animals.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[1 Arrested, 1 Sought in Armed Carjacking in Miami: Cops]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:54:17 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/216*120/020516+armed+carjacking+chase+suspect+caught.JPG

Police apprehended an armed carjacking suspect after an early morning chase in Miami, and they are looking for a second suspect who managed to get away.

According to Miami Police, the 19-year-old suspect carjacked a man just before 7 a.m. in the area of Northwest Eighth Street near Fourth Avenue in Miami. The victim was able to flag down nearby officers, and informed them that he had just been carjacked and that the black Nissan belonged to his mother.

The victim was not injured, police say.

Officers began to pursue the carjacked vehicle, but briefly suspended their pursuit once the suspect got onto Interstate 95.

After about five minutes, the teen lost control of the car on the ramp connecting I-195 and I-95 north. The suspect tried to bail out of the passenger door, but was stopped by officers with their guns drawn.

A second suspect who was riding in the passenger seat managed to get away. 

The ramp to northbound I-95 from the Julia Tuttle Causeway was closed for much of the morning while police investigated. The lanes have since been reopened.

Anyone with information on the second suspect is asked to contat Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at (305) 471-TIPS.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

<![CDATA[Winter Weather Takes Aim at South Florida]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 08:01:37 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/CacuoCVUAAAquqv.png After some overnight showers, Ryan Phillips says we'll see a dip in temperatures Friday and on into the weekend and early next week. Today will be cloudy and cool with a high of 67, with a chance for showers this weekend.]]> <![CDATA[BSO Deputy, Prisoner, Hospitalized After Crash]]> Fri, 05 Feb 2016 13:55:06 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/215*120/020516+deputy+involved+accident+in+fort+lauderdale.JPG

A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy and the prisoner they were transporting were hospitalized after an early morning crash on Friday.

At around 3:35 a.m., BSO officials said a black Dodge Charger carrying four people ran a red light and slammed into the deputy's marked vehicle at the intersection of South Andrews Avenue and Southeast Second Street in Fort Lauderdale.

The deputy, Steven Serphos, was in the process of transporting a prisoner, 34-year-old Yoed Rivera-Hernandez. Both were taken to Broward Health Medical Center with non-life threatening injuries.

A third car stopped at the intersection was also impacted by the crash. The driver and passenger of that car were both treated for minor injuries at the scene.

The four people in the Charger, including driver Bryan Espinosa, were also taken to Broward Health for non-life threatening injuries.

The intersection was closed while officials investigate. Motorists were advised to take alternate routes.

This is a developing story and will be updated as new information becomes available.

<![CDATA[Panthers Keep Rolling With Fifth Straight Win]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 22:17:13 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/GettyImages-508446592.jpg

The Florida Panthers had another big night on Thursday with a 6-3 victory over the Detroit Red Wings for their fifth straight win.

Florida has now won 17 of its 21 games dating back all the way to Dec. 15 and has 67 points overall. The Panthers who remain atop the Atlantic Division now have padded their lead to seven points.

Not only has Florida won games at an exceptional pace, but it also done so with impressive scoring efforts. This was the fourth consecutive game that the Panthers scored at least five goals and they have outscored their opponents 25-8 during the win streak.

At the 8:30 mark of the first period, Brandon Pirri got the scoring started for Florida with his tenth goal of the season. Pirri's goal came with assists from both Alex Petrovic and Jaromir Jagr.

A little more than two minutes later, it was Aleksander Barkov's 15th goal of the season that gave Florida a 2-0 lead. Reilly Smith and Aaron Ekblad picked up assists on the power play goal.

Vincent Trocheck's 16th goal of the year rounded out the scoring in the first period with an assist from Jagr. This goal came only 25 seconds after Barkov's and gave the Panthers a quick 3-0 advantage.

It would take some time for Florida to score again as the next goal would come at the 16:13 mark of the second period. With the score 3-2 at the time, Derek MacKenzie gave Florida some breathing room with his fifth goal of the season. Pirri and Corban Knight helped out with this goal.

Jagr completed another big day with his 16th goal of the season in the third period. The veteran was assisted by Trocheck and Jussi Jokinen on the score. Trocheck would add an empty net goal of his own in the final minutes as well. The second of the day and 17th goal of the season for Trocheck had assists from Smith and Jokinen on it.

The Panthers will host the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday night in search of their sixth straight victory.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Broward Humane Society Adoptable Pets]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 21:44:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/182*120/Cherie+NBC6+Sizing+and+Naming+Template_Ellie.jpg There are lots of animals up for adoption at the Broward Humane Society!]]> <![CDATA[DNA Leads to Arrest of Sexual Assault Suspect: MDPD]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 21:40:43 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020416+jimmy+howard.jpg

Miami-Dade Police have made an arrest following a recent case of armed sexual assault.

36-year-old Jimmy Howard of Florida City was taken into custody and has been charged with armed sexual battery, armed kidnapping and armed robbery.

The incident happened on Jan. 19 around 8 p.m. on the busway in the area between Southwest 283rd Street and Southwest 157th Avenue.

Police said the 57-year-old female victim had just exited the public transit bus. As she was walking, she told police she was confronted by the suspect who threatened her with a knife, robbed her of her personal belongings and sexually assaulted her.

Investigators said a DNA match identified Howard as the attacker. There's no word on whether he's hired an attorney.

Photo Credit: MDPD]]>
<![CDATA[Teen Shot While Riding Bike in Miami: Police]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 23:27:44 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020416+teen+shot+miami.jpg

Miami Police were called to the scene where a 15-year-old was shot while riding a bike Thursday.

It happened around 6:45 p.m. in the 6400 block of Northwest 6th Avenue near Northwest 64th Street.

Police said the teen was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in stable condition. They said they don't have a description of the shooter.

Miami-Dade County Public Schools Superintendent Alberto Carvalho took to Twitter after the shooting: "Tragedy strikes again with a 15-year old child shot while riding a bike. Sadly, cowardly gun violence continues in the streets of Miami."

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Heat: Chris Bosh to Enter All-Star Three-Point Shootout]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 20:22:11 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/4884902789.jpg

All-Star Weekend just became more interesting for the Miami Heat as Chris Bosh will take part in the Three-Point Shootout.

This is the first time in Bosh's career that he will be a part of the famous contest. In previous All-Star Games, Bosh has participated in other events such as the skills challenge. Bosh who will also play in the All-Star Game itself, had great success in those skills events in recent years.

Miami has a long and prosperous history when it comes to showing off its three-point ability. Not only will Bosh be the seventh Heat player ever in the event, but he could become the fifth to win it. Previous Miami winners include James Jones, Daequan Cook, Jason Kapono and Glen Rice.

Bosh's three-point ability has been a game-changer for Miami, and has allowed the team to spread its offense out. Bosh is not only able to dominate on the inside, but he's reliable from deep. The 11-time All-Star leads Miami in three-pointers this season with his 78, which also is a career-high for Bosh.

Not only is Bosh draining threes at a good pace, but he is doing it with efficiency. Bosh is making over 36 percent of his trey attempts which ranks him 23rd in the Eastern Conference in that department.

The other competitors that have been confirmed for the Three-Point Shootout include Devin Booker, Stephen Curry, James Harden, Kyle Lowry, Khris Middleton, J.J. Redick and Klay Thompson.

The Three-Point Shootout will be part of NBA All-Star Saturday Night on Feb. 13.

Photo Credit: Getty Images]]>
<![CDATA[Sex Offenders Freed With Little Oversight]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 18:57:33 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/214*120/020416+sex+offenders+investigation.jpg

Two-time convicted sex offender Michael Leverett could've been back roaming his Davie street in 2009, after his second prison sentence since 1979 for sex crimes involving underage girls.

Instead, he wound up at the Florida Civil Commitment Center, home to more than 600 sex offenders held after their prison sentences expire because the state suspects or a court has ruled they are likely to rape again.

For six years, Leverett fought to show he was not a threat on the outside and by August 2015, he'd persuaded two mental health professionals he should be released.

In a letter included in his court file, Leverett described one of his psychologists as "one of the first that really listened to me in my life" and vowed to her "I will not let you down."

Within a month of his release, Davie Police allege, Leverett did more than that: the 55-year-old man began an eight-week binge of at least 135 sexual encounters with two 16-year-old girls.

Of the 628 offenders housed at FCCC, in DeSoto County on the last day of 2015, 536 were committed by a judge or jury who found they were sexually violent predators, or SVPs, who would likely reoffend if set free. The other 92 were, like Leverett, detained pre-trial after a judge found probable cause they were SVPs.

Once professionals agreed Leverett was no longer likely to reoffend, Broward County Assistant State Attorney Tara Sullivan negotiated a settlement agreement allowing his release on Oct. 8, as long as for three years he continued treatment and did not violate the law.

Since Leverett was not on probation, no one from the state had to approve of his living arrangements, which included sharing his family home with, among others, one of the 16-year-old girls with whom he now stands accused of having sex.

"They should have kept him in there," that girl's mother said of the commitment center. "I mean, a psychiatrist should know whether the man is right in the head or not and he's not."

Police now allege in two separate cases Leverett had oral, vaginal or anal intercourse with the two 16-year-old girls at least 135 times between Nov. 13 and Jan. 2.

He was arrested on Jan. 4 on a warrant alleging sexual battery after one girl disclosed the encounters to her mother and police.

After first denying a sexual relationship with Leverett, the other girl later gave a sworn statement describing near-daily sex with Leverett, police claim. Asked about her initial denials, the girl said she had "developed emotional feeling for defendant Leverett and wanted to protect him," a sex crimes detective wrote in Leverett's arrest affidavit.

Leverett's public defender did not return a call seeking comment on the new charges, which now total nine counts of unlawful sexual activity with minors, second-degree felonies punishable by up to 15 years in prison.

On the civil side, the state is already moving to have him sent back to the FCCC and declared a sexually violent predator. But even when offenders are ruled a SVP, the state has no program in place to monitor their transition back into the community once they are released.

In 2008, a legislative office told the Department of Children and Families it should create such a program, but eight years later DCF has failed to do so.

A spokeswoman told NBC 6 the department is still working on it.

Meanwhile, dozens of offenders and predators are being released back into the community, often with little oversight.

Glenn Davidow was committed to FCCC as a sexually violent predator after convictions in 1992 for lewd assault on a child and in 2008 for using the internet to solicit sex with a child, who turned out to be an undercover agent.

Last month, though, Davidow was released on a five-year settlement agreement, after doctors opined he had shown significant progress with treatment at the FCCC.

While Davidow, 43, will get enhanced scrutiny because he’s classified as a sexual predator, and not just a sexual offender, he will not benefit from a transitional program because DCF has failed to establish one.

Even those not declared SVPs have had their share of problems.

Among those convicted of crimes in Broward, Jack Love was arrested and convicted of raping a child two years after he was released with a settlement agreement; Jermaine Moye was returned to prison after three years free; Eric Smith, after one month; and now Leverett.

As he walked free for the first time in eight years, Davidow told NBC 6 last month "it feels wonderful" and vowed not to reoffend.

As for whether he felt he needed support from the state, he said, "Well, I have support with my parents and I have other support elsewhere. So everything will be great."

Sullivan, the prosecutor who handles sex predator cases, said the lack of a DCF transition program is "the very difficult part of this program. Unlike being on a criminal probation, we don't have a paid supervisory office that is supervising them and monitoring them, and it's extremely important. It's the missing link that really offers the community security."

Asked why it hadn't created the program, DCF issued a statement: "This is a complex issue that requires a coordinated solution as DCF does not have unilateral authority on any post-release supervision programs. To that end, DCF is working with our partners at the Department of Corrections and within the judicial branch to examine all constitutional implications of this potential proposal."

A DCF official has drafted legislation that would create a two-year transitional release program and authorize the state to approve offenders' residences and prohibit contact with potential victims.

But DCF has failed to get a legislator to sponsor it.

Eight years of inaction by DCF brings no comfort to the mother whose daughter crossed paths with Leverett.

"Bad move, really bad move. Please don’t do it again," she said. "Next time, come with the person and see where they're going to be living first. Make sure they have the correct place where to live."

<![CDATA[90 Pounds of Synthetic Drugs Seized at MIA Since December]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:40:43 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020416+cbp+synthetic+drugs+miami+international+airport.jpg

About 90 pounds of synthetic drugs have been seized by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at Miami International Airport in the past two months, officials said Thursday.

A total of 47 seizures have been made at the airport since Dec. 1 and all have resulted from inspections of mail in shipments from China, officials said.

Some of the drugs are bath salts and the drugs vary in concentrations and purities, officials said. Some samples were 100 to 800 times more potent than an "established counterpart," officials said.

“We are increasingly intercepting these parcels containing these new dangerous drugs," MIA Port Director Christopher Maston said in a statement. "CBP officers are diligently working to prevent these drugs from entering our nation."

Photo Credit: U.S. Customs and Border Protection]]>
<![CDATA[Group Demands More Vigorous Investigations of Murders]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 17:46:34 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/213*120/020416+enough+is+enough+rally.jpg

Parents in one South Florida community say "enough is enough." They gathered Thursday to rally against what they believe is a fault in the justice system that costs lives.

It was a protest fueled by pain and anguish. Mothers whose sons and daughters have been murdered, joined by supporters, all demanding more from law enforcement.

"We need them to enforce the three-strikes law. If I didn't know any better, I would think it was a setup in our community to send these violent offenders back out into our community to continue killing our kids," said Tangela Sears, protest organizer.

"Our future is being lost. Young lives matter," said Neikole Hunt, whose son was murdered.

Hunt's son, Randall Robinson, was one of the Northwestern High students shot dead during this school year.

"No parent should ever have to bury their child," said Arlene Byrd, whose son was also murdered.

The group directed their ire at State Attorney Kathy Fernandez Rundle, at one point even shouting at the door. But some, including rap icon Luther Campbell, focused on the pervasive no-snitch mentality.

"You need to call the police. You need to tell them. It's the only way you're gonna take back your community, your neighborhood, and if you don't do it, what are you doing? You're part of the crime, too," Campbell said.

"They are getting AK-47s and shooting people. A young man was shot, 36 rounds at 1 p.m. with children and adults around him and not a damn thing said about who was the killer. That's a problem in our community," said Dr. Robert Malone. "The state attorney can't solve this. The police can't solve this. We have to solve it."

The state attorney's spokesperson said Kathy Fernandez Rundle was not in the building during the rally.

Photo Credit: NBC6.com]]>
<![CDATA[Puppies Delivered to Wedding Reception]]> Thu, 04 Feb 2016 16:31:41 -0500 http://media.nbcmiami.com/images/175*120/Guys+with+pups.jpg The Humane Society of Broward County recently delivered their first “Snuggle Delivery” to a wedding reception. ]]>