What to Know
- Yosmel Manuel Gonzalez, 34, was arrested on a second-degree murder charge in the Jan. 18 killing of 64-year-old taxi driver Joel Bertresse
A man accused of fatally running over a Miami taxi driver during an argument over the fare is facing a murder charge, authorities said.
Yosmel Manuel Gonzalez, 34, was arrested Monday on a second-degree murder charge in the Jan. 18 killing of 64-year-old taxi driver Joel Bertresse, according to an arrest report.
The report said officers were called to the scene in the 4800 block of Biscayne Boulevard around 6 a.m. and found Bertresse lying in the median next to his taxi, which had crashed into a palm tree. Bertresse was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center where he was pronounced dead.
According to the report, officers reviewed surveillance footage from a nearby Publix which showed the taxi driving with Bertresse "hanging outside of the door and being dragged while the motor vehicle is in motion." The taxi was seen crashing into the palm tree in the median and coming to a stop as a man flees the scene on foot, the report said.
A Publix security guard told investigators he saw Bertresse and another man arguing inside the taxi before the man punched Bertresse and a fight ensued, the report said. The guard saw the man jump into the driver's seat and drive off in the taxi with Bertresse being dragged on the ground, the report said.
Investigators determined that Bertresse had picked up a customer at a 7-Eleven on Miami Beach about 20 minutes earlier, the report said. Surveillance footage showed a man later identified as Gonzalez being picked up by Bertresse at the 7-Eleven, the report said.
Gonzalez later told detectives that he had been involved in a dispute with the driver over the cost of the taxi, and said Bertresse punched him and stabbed him in the mouth, but he had no visible injuries to his mouth, the report said. Gonzalez also said he ran from the scene because he has a criminal record, the report said.
Gonzalez, who is also known as Yosmel Puentes, was booked into jail where he was being held without bond Tuesday, records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.