A suspect was in police custody after being chased by police along busy highways into the heart of Miami on Tuesday.
The man, identified by police as 47-year-old Guillermo Alvarez-Mendez, drove the wrong way on busy streets and crashed what authorities said was a stolen van into one car head-on at Southwest 16th Avenue and Southwest 1st Street. After the crash, he took off running into the streets of Little Havana, and at one point climbed over rooftops as he fled through the neighborhood.
Several witnesses said when they saw the suspect get out of the van, an older model Toyota, they thought he was going to help the woman he struck.
Immediately, a perimeter was set up between Southwest 15th Avenue and Southwest 17th Avenue and Southwest 1st Street and Southwest 2nd Street, police said. The man was in custody a short time later, aerial footage showed.
Alvarez-Mendez crashed into several vehicles in all, Miami-Dade Police said. The people in those vehicles received minor injuries and were treated on the scene.
The chase began as the Broward Sheriff's Office pursued a report of a stolen van at 1951 S. Street Road 7 in West Park.
Just before 6 p.m., a suspect burglarized a car in the parking lot of a Home Depot. He then fled.
Alvarez-Mendez (below) faces charges of fleeing and eluding, and leaving the scene of a traffic crash with injuries, police said. He was being held without bond Wednesday on a previous warrant case, jail records showed.
The rightful owner of the van, Jose Fornel, rushed to the intersection of Southwest 16th Avenue and Southwest 1st Street after seeing his vehicle weaving in and out of traffic and striking other cars along the way.
"I saw it on TV – that's my car," Fornel said in Spanish, waving the police report he filed two weeks ago.