It’s Monday, January 18th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - Officers from several different agencies across South Florida are heading to the nation's capital to help police and secure the inauguration of President-elect Joe Biden.
Monday, 50 officers from the Miami Beach Police Department left while on Sunday morning, 45 officers from Miami-Dade County packed up to travel to Washington D.C. Thousands of police and national guard members will be posted throughout the nation’s capital, weeks after a mob encouraged by outgoing President Donald Trump attacked the United States Capitol while lawmakers were in an early January session. This will be the fourth inauguration Miami-Dade County’s “Rapid Deployment Force” has participated in. The special unit is trained to handle large crowds and unruly protests.
No. 2 - Law enforcement is on high alert in Florida’s capital city amid concerns about any possible protests leading up to Wednesday’s inauguration day.
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Florida National Guard members were expected to arrive as early as this past weekend at the Capitol building in Tallahassee, called into action after reports of potential armed disruptions being planned before President-Elect Joe Biden is sworn into office. Security was in place after a Florida man, Daniel Baker, was arrested on charges stemming from social media posts detailing armed protests planned for both Sunday and this coming Wednesday at the Capitol. Tallahassee Mayor John Dailey told media members Sunday that no specific threat had been made toward Florida's Capitol building and hopes the state's declaration of emergency played a role in keeping things calm so far.
No. 3 - Police have arrested a suspect they say fled with an 18-year-old girl after kidnapping her and her parents at their Pembroke Pines home.
Close to 5:30 a.m. Sunday, Pembroke Pines Police received a call reporting that three people had been kidnapped at gunpoint outside their home. According to police, two people were arriving home with their daughter, Nicole Martinez, around 12:30 a.m. when the suspect - identified as 37-year-old Jaddier Sanchez - confronted them. He forced the three of them into one of the parents' cars and drove them to various banks to withdraw money from ATM's before he left the parents on the side of the road in Palm Beach County. Sanchez was arrested early Monday morning in Virginia while Martinez was hospitalized with minor injuries.
No. 4 - Police arrested 5 people this weekend for recklessly driving ATVs and dirt bikes after shutting down an expressway to search for another suspect - all ahead of the expected ATV rideouts scheduled for Monday’s Martin Luther King Day holiday.
Miami Beach officers shut down the MacArthur Causeway in both directions for more than an hour as they tried to locate a possibly armed suspect who'd fled. Florida Highway Patrol's Major Robert Chandler told NBC 6 that "we have multiple aircrafts in the air, as well as Broward Sheriff's Office. We know where these groups are, and we are going to handle it; please do not take matters into your own hand, do not engage with these folks." More than a dozen agencies will be on patrol on the ground, in the air and online throughout the rest of the long weekend to scout out the riders' locations.
No. 5 - The Hard Rock Testing site in Miami Gardens is now offering vaccinations by appointment only. People with appointments are advised not to arrive more than 30 minutes ahead of their scheduled time.
The site will be open during normal hours on Monday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. No appointments are needed for coronavirus testing. Cars must have working windows that fully open and close. Florida added more than 11,000 new COVID-19 cases Sunday, as the state's virus-related death toll increased by more than 130.
No. 6 - Weatherwise, after a colder weekend South Florida warms up starting Monday with above average temperatures arriving by the end of the week. Keep your NBC 6 app handy for push alerts on any severe weather as well as First Alert Doppler 6000.