Video obtained by NBC 6 South Florida shows the moments when police apprehended a suspect who had commandeered a Miami-Dade Police marked vehicle, leading police on a chase and ultimately, crashed the car inside the PortMiami tunnel Monday.
The video shows police chasing down the suspect. A third officer joins in for the takedown and the video shows one appearing to strike the man at least three times.
Investigators say Russell Keith McGruder, 34, stole the car around 9:30 a.m. It was part of a motorcade scheduled to escort Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Julian Castro.
Castro was headed from a Downtown Miami hotel to the Emerge Americas technology conference on Miami Beach. The motorcade was waiting for him, with the cruiser's engine running.
"Once we knew that the dignitary was on the move and ready to go vehicles are turned on so that way we can have easy access and we are able to move once the dignitary inside his vehicle for safety purposes," said Alvaro Zabaleta of the Miami-Dade Police Department.
A chase ensued, then ended once the suspect crashed the car inside the inbound lanes of the PortMiami tunnel.
"He then produces some type of, he pulls out a can, some type of chemical spray, exposes the officers with it. A physical altercation ensues and the officers had to utilize all necessary use of force in order to take him into custody," Zabaleta said.
McGruder telled "shoot me, shoot me" before he was taken into custody, according to an arrest report.
Jose Mata who recorded the take-down on his cell phone said his adrenaline was pumping.
"I'm not going to lie, it did, actually you can see it in my phone and I start shaking a little bit because this is the first time I encountered something similar," Mata said.
Officers took McGruder into custody and recovered the vehicle. The officers were treated on the scene for exposure to the pepper spray.
McGruder was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital with minor injuries. He appeared in court Tuesday facing charges related to stealing a police vehicle. It is unknown if he will face any additional charges. He was ordered held on $40,000 bond. It is not known if he has hired an attorney.
A MDPD, marked police vehicle was stolen & recovered after crashing inside the inbound lanes of the PortMiami Tunnel. Subject is in custody.
— Miami-Dade Police (@MiamiDadePD) May 4, 2015
The PortMiami tunnel inbound and outbound lanes were closed as police investigated.
Both the inbound and outbound lanes have since been reopened.
The incident remains under investigation.