Crime and Courts

Man Accused of Driving Into Group of Cyclists That Included Children in Miami-Dade

54-year-old Jean Rene is facing multiple charges, including leaving the scene of a crash 

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A man is facing charges after authorities say he ran over a large group of cyclists that included children in Miami-Dade over the weekend.

Witnesses say they saw Jean Rene drive his car into a group of 80 cyclists.

“She had to jump off her bicycle, her bicycle was dragged 10 streets by a man who did not care if she lived or died. We saw one of our members airlifted to a hospital," a witness described in a bond court hearing the moment he saw a fellow cyclist struck by an SUV.

In surveillance video from Franco Auto Parts, a black SUV is seen making a sharp right, then cyclists started following the car. 

Police say 54-year-old Rene was behind the wheel of the car.

According to an arrest report, on Sunday around 1 p.m., Rene crashed into a car near Northwest 27th Avenue and 106 Street, right next to Miami Dade North Campus. 

After crashing, police say Rene tried to drive away but ended up hitting a cyclist and taking off. 

Another witness told the judge that children could have also been hurt in all of this. 

“He drove his car in the direction towards the children, in attempt to hit them,” a witness said.

The cyclists are a part of “Break the Cycle,” an organization that teaches children how to bike ride and focuses on building an urban cycling community.

They say even though the children were not physically hurt, they were emotionally affected. 

"So we have children who have not been able to sleep, your honor, who have been crying hysterically, and children who are extremely traumatized," said a woman in the bond court hearing.

Break the Cycle released this statement, "(Sunday), the Break the Cycle family and its youth cyclists in-training experienced a traumatic incident where a reckless driver plowed into the group of cyclists seriously injuring one. This act was and is reprehensible and this individual must be held accountable for his reckless and intentional disregard for human life and safety. While we remain prayerful for the speedy recovery of our fellow cyclist, we ask that the community remain vigilant. This, now more than ever, is a moment that safety for all cyclists must become a priority for our community because our lives and the safety of our cyclist, especially our youth, depends on it."

Hours later police found and arrested Rene in Opa-locka.

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