Tiffany Fantasia, a famous drag queen who also works in South Beach's popular Palace Bar, was mistakenly detained by Miami Beach Police officers searching for a suspect who punched a woman.
The incident occurred on Monday in Fantasia's neighborhood near Flamingo Park. After a suspect punched and threatened a woman with a knife in South Beach, police began searching for a man described as six feet, four inches tall and weighing about 200 pounds.
That description was of 37-year-old Erol Garret Bland, who is charged with criminal mischief and battery after he was arrested late Monday.
However, prior to Garret Bland's arrest, Fantasia was handcuffed as a suspect. Fantasia is also six feet, four inches tall and was wearing some clothes similar to the initial suspect description.
“He fit the physical description and clothing description of a subject with knife who had just committed a crime nearby. Sgt. [Orlando] Sosa further explained that for his safety and the safety of the officers he was being momentarily handcuffed,” a Miami Beach police officer wrote in the incident report.
Fantasia was handcuffed in her neighborhood for about five minutes until the officers were satisfied they did not have the right person detained. The experience left Fantasia shaken.
“My dad went through this sh**. I’m going through this sh**. I didn’t do sh**wrong,” she said during a Facebook Live. “It’s so f’ing [aggravating], so annoying. All you’re trying to do is be a good person and the sad part is this isn’t the first time this has happened to me.”
The Miami Beach Police Department and Fantasia met on Tuesday to discuss what happened.
"Growth comes from understanding both sides of the coin. Thank you Police chief Daniel Oates for explaining what was going on that night, hearing me and my side of the story, and trying to come up with a solution to the problem," Fantasia wrote on Facebook. "He and his team heard me as a citizen and as an African American male. I hope this can lead to a better understanding and growth."