It’s Thursday, April 7th - and NBC 6 has the top stories for the day.
No. 1 - A phony rideshare driver accused of raping a woman he picked up at Miami International Airport has been arrested, police said.
Fernando Avila Hernandez, 28, was arrested Wednesday on sexual battery and battery charges, an arrest affidavit said. The affidavit said the 28-year-old victim had just arrived at the airport from Salt Lake City and was trying to get a taxi when she was approached by Hernandez, who was soliciting passengers as a rideshare driver. Hernandez told the woman she was very pretty and offered to take her to his house, but she again asked to be taken to a hotel, the report said. Hernandez drove past the hotel and went to a shopping plaza in the 3400 block of Red Road, where he parked behind a restaurant, the affidavit said. Hernandez told the woman to get in the back seat before he got in the back seat and sexually battered her, the affidavit said.
No. 2 - A man accused of fatally shooting his wife at a Jewish community center in Miami-Dade over the weekend and who is a person of interest in the 2014 disappearance of an ex-girlfriend may be connected to the killing of another girlfriend back in 2009, family members said.
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Carl Watts, 45, was arrested in Sunday's fatal shooting in the pool area at the Michael-Ann Russell Jewish Community Center on Northeast 25th Avenue. Miami-Dade Police officials said he showed up at the center and fatally shot his wife, identified by family members as 30-year-old Shandell Harris, as Harris was attending her daughter's swimming lesson. On Wednesday, family members of another of Watts' ex-girlfriends, said they believe he had something to do with her killing. Vickie Simmons, a 25-year-old mother of two at the time, was found slain at a North Miami motel back in 2009. Sister Lashon Jones said Simmons and Watts had been dating but she started to have second thoughts about their relationship and they had a falling out.
No. 3 - The Senate is expected to confirm Supreme Court nominee Ketanji Brown Jackson on Thursday, securing her place as the first Black woman on the high court and giving President Joe Biden a bipartisan endorsement for his historic pick.
Three Republican senators have said they will support Jackson, who would replace Justice Stephen Breyer when he retires this summer. While the vote will be far from the overwhelming bipartisan confirmations for Breyer and other justices in decades past, it will still be a significant bipartisan accomplishment for Biden in the narrow 50-50 Senate after GOP senators aggressively worked to paint Jackson as too liberal and soft on crime. Jackson, a 51-year-old federal appeals court judge, would be just the third Black justice, after Thurgood Marshall and Clarence Thomas, and the sixth woman. She would join two other women, Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan, on the liberal side of a 6-3 conservative court.
No. 4 - Miami Beach took a lot of heat over its spring break curfew, which some saw as a crackdown against a largely African American crowd. The city’s administration said it was forced to take drastic action after five people were shot in a two-day period.
Now that Memorial Day weekend and its big crowds are coming up, the Miami-Dade County Back Affairs Advisory Board is trying to figure out how it can help make the holiday trouble-free. At a meeting Wednesday, the board said it wants to help the City of Miami Beach avoid some of the problems it’s had with the inundation of large amounts of tourists by being proactive instead of reactive. Click here for more in a report from NBC 6’s Ari Odzer.
No. 5 - When a video of a large cat roaming a Miami neighborhood alarmed residents, the owner of the rare feline wants to clear the air and let his neighbors know that his pet is not dangerous.
Stryker isn't your average cat — the spotted feline is an extremely rare F1 Savannah cat. And he's amassed a large following on Instagram. Stryker's owner was moving into his new home in the Buena Vista neighborhood near the Design District when the cat got out. So while his dad did the heavy lifting, the feline decided to make himself acquainted with the neighborhood. Stryker was caught on a neighbor's Ring camera roaming outside of a home. The homeowner, alarmed, ended up calling 911 after spotting the large cat. Click here for more in a report from NBC 6’s Nicole Lauren you’ll see Only on 6.
No. 6 - Residents at a Weston apartment complex said they are jumping through hoops to get their mail.
A cluster of mailboxes at the La Morada apartment complex did not allow for the safe delivery of mail and packages, according to the U.S. Postal Service. Max Sandberg is one of the residents at La Morada who spoke to us about this issue. He said since December the postal service started delivering the mail in bulk. The mail is then distributed by the property’s management. On the day we visited La Morada, NBC 6 Responds saw an orange sign posted at the community’s leasing office which stated mail would be distributed to all residents during the week between 3:00 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. But on the day NBC 6 was there, the office was closed before 4 p.m. Click here to find out what happened next in a report from NBC 6 consumer investigator Sasha Jones.