It’s Friday, August 20th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - An arrest was made Thursday in the murder of former University of Miami football player Bryan Pata, who was shot to death nearly 15 years ago outside his Kendall apartment.
Miami-Dade Police confirmed to NBC 6 that Rashaun Jones, who was a teammate with Pata from 2004 to 2006, was arrested Thursday in the Ocala area as part of a joint operation between the agency and U.S. Marshals. Jones was booked in Marion County before he will be transferred to Miami-Dade County. Detectives say the 22-year-old Pata was walking from his car toward the stairs at the apartment building on Nov. 7, 2006 when he was shot in the back of the head at the complex located off Southwest 77th Avenue and 93rd Street. An ESPN story published in 2020 said Jones was a likely suspect, but no charges had been filed until Thursday.
No. 2 - A fulfilled public records request for first responder bodycam footage shows the first moments police arrived at the scene of the Champlain Towers South partial collapse in Surfside.
NBC 6 had previously shown the initial 18 minutes, but the newly obtained video from Officer Ariol Lage shows an extended version running 1 hour and 37 minutes. Residents can be heard asking officers about family members in the building, including a woman asking about her 87-year-old mother in the building with "major heart issues." The bodies of 98 people were recovered at the collapse site after a massive month-long recovery effort. The video also shows police officers directing residents north past 90th Street, specifically to the Rec Center on 93rd Street and Collins Avenue.
No. 3 - Miami Dade College will reopen pop-up vaccination sites at all MDC campuses and its outreach center during the months of August and September.
The sites will be offering the Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson vaccines. MDC students and employees who present a vaccination card at any campus student life office will receive a gift card from Chick-fil-A or Follett Book Stores, while supplies last. The vaccination cards must be from one of the campus pop-up or North Campus locations. The college operated pop-up vaccination sites at all of its campuses this past spring and summer.
No. 4 - They are bracing for the fallout at Miami-Dade County Public Schools.
Wednesday, the school board voted 7-1 to defy the governor and the state Board of Education by imposing a mandatory mask mandate for students and staff at its schools. Most of the board members and the superintendent said they had to do what they felt was best to protect the kids, regardless of threats from Tallahassee. So Miami-Dade joins Broward, Palm Beach, Hillsborough, and Alachua counties in making masks mandatory. What’s next? Click here for the story from NBC 6 reporter Ari Odzer.
No. 5 - New video released by a New York woman’s attorney appears to show a Miami Beach police officer hitting the woman with a bicycle and then pepper spraying her as she tried to record an ongoing arrest on July 25.
The woman, Mariyah Maple, was arrested and accused of violating a new Miami Beach ordinance that prohibits civilians from approaching a law enforcement officer with "intent to impede, provoke, or harass," after being given a warning by an officer. Now the Miami Beach police chief has temporarily suspended enforcement of the ordinance until all Miami Beach officers have received additional, in-person training on the nuances of the ordinance, according to a statement released by the Miami Beach department. The release said no one has been arrested for violating the ordinance since July 26.
No. 6 - Many tenants behind on rent are turning to rental assistance programs for help.
NBC 6 Responds found much of the federal aid approved by Congress has not made it to the people who need it most. The U.S. Treasury reported just 12 percent of the first round of the Emergency Rental Assistance Program totaling $25 billion was distributed. State and local governments who administer the program have struggled to get the funds out. At the state level, just 2 percent of the federal funds have been paid out. Click here to find out why in a report from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.