Why is there a war between drivers and cyclists in Miami?

Anthony Napoliello believes there is a war in Miami between drivers and cyclists. The four-wheeled are hostile to the two-wheeled. It’s a fight to the death. 

Car dependency is a way of life in Miami. In some areas, a lack of bike infrastructure makes cyclists feel like they are swimming with sharks. But not in Virginia Key, where the sea breeze and endless shades of Biscayne Bay blue and palm trees attract those who love the outdoors. 

There are designated bike paths on the Rickenbacker Causeway. Signs with sensors warn each driver about their speed. Joggers have paths away from the road. But none of the preventive measures stopped a driver from striking Napoliello while he was riding his bicycle in the designated area. 

“I’m looking up and I see this car turning straight into me,” Napoliello said. “And I knew I was going to go down.”

Napoliello suffered a broken hip, a serious knee injury and broken fingers. He credits his choice of helmet for saving his life. There have been plenty of appalling tragedies besetting cyclists on Virginia Key. He feels lucky to have survived and wants to help raise awareness to help save lives. 

“You know it’s going to be a long battle,” Napoliello said about his recovery. 

Napoliello said he remembers the driver’s panic. She wasn’t grieving sarcastically, and she wasn’t irritated. She was genuinely apologetic. He said he empathized with her, after she showed signs of tortured regret. But he wants drivers to remember that not paying attention can end up causing another tragedy. 

Napoliello doesn’t want what happened to him to become another run-of-the-mill bike vs. car incident on Miami’s roads. He wants authorities and the public to recognize the simmering tension of the cyclist-driver relationship and find ways to change it. 

 

Follow this story

Miami police officer arrested on charges of false imprisonment, simple battery

A Miami police officer has been arrested on charges of false imprisonment and simple battery.

Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes announced the arrest of Officer Alexi Figueroa in a statement Thursday.

Llanes said Figueroa’s arrest is the culmination of an investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department and the state attorney’s office.

Figueroa was presented with the Medal of Heroism Award by Gov. Rick Scott in 2013 after he helped apprehend a gunman who was shooting in the direction of a supermarket where Figueroa, who was off duty, and his family were shopping.

Llanes said Figueroa has been relieved of duty with pay since February 2016 and will remain suspended pending the outcome of the criminal charges and an internal investigation.

Figueroa is charged with one count of false imprisonment and two counts of simple battery.

Follow this story

Miami police officer arrested on charges of false imprisonment, simple battery

A Miami police officer has been arrested on charges of false imprisonment and simple battery.

Miami Police Chief Rodolfo Llanes announced the arrest of Officer Alexi Figueroa in a statement Thursday.

Llanes said Figueroa’s arrest is the culmination of an investigation by the Miami-Dade Police Department and the state attorney’s office.

He said Llanes has been relieved of duty with pay since February 2016 and will remain suspended pending the outcome of the criminal charges and an internal investigation.

Follow this story

Miami homeowner fatally shoots burglar, police say

A homeowner fatally shot a burglar Wednesday afternoon after finding him in his home in Miami, authorities said.

The incident was reported just after noon in the area of Northwest 71st Street and Fifth Place.

The homeowner’s wife said she was at work when the incident happened. She said her 3-year-old son heard a noise and woke up his father, who grabbed his gun.

Police said the man shot the burglar in the living room.

Miami police spokesman Christopher Bess said the burglar was pronounced dead at the scene.

The homeowner was questioned at the police station.

No other details were immediately released.

 

Follow this story

Miami Passport Agency closed until further notice

The Miami Passport Agency was closed to the public Monday, leaving hopeful travelers unable to make appointments or get passports to leave the country.

A message on the U.S. Department of State’s website said the Miami Passport Agency is closed to the public until further notice.

The Omni Center, which houses the agency, “experienced significant water damage” and is closed until while the damage is being assessed and repairs can be made, a Department of State representative said in a statement to Local 10 News.

“Customers with existing appointments will be re-scheduled at a different passport agency,” the statement said. “We will work with customers who have applications pending at the Miami Passport Agency to ensure their applications are processed.  We sincerely apologize for the inconvenience to our customers and will make an announcement as soon as the Miami Passport Agency can re-open to the public.”

Narezi Garcez, who needs a passport for her baby, said she went to the Miami Passport Agency only to find out that it was closed.

“We asked when it was going to be open. He said, ‘By the looks of it, not for a very long time,'” Garcez said. “So I asked, ‘OK, where can I get my passport?’ (He said,) ‘New Orleans, San Juan and all the other states.’ So I have to travel to another state to get her passport. It’s ridiculous.”

The San Francisco Passport Agency was also closed.

Anyone scheduled to pick up a passport or who is in need of expedited passport services is asked to call the National Passport Information Center at 877-487-2778 or 888-874-7793 for assistance.

Follow this story

Memorial service held for Delray Beach police officer killed in Key West

A Delray Beach police officer who was killed in a motor scooter crash in Key West earlier this month was remembered Sunday during a memorial service.

The memorial service for Officer Christine Braswell, 40, was held at Atlantic Community High School in Delray Beach.

Hundreds of people, including law enforcement officers from across the state, attended the service to pay their respects.

One of the officers who attended the service was Bernenda Marc, who was with Braswell at the time of the crash.

“She always had a smile on her face, and one thing that I will always cherish about her is her drive and how much she was willing to help other people and love people more than she loved herself,” Marc said.

The officers were on vacation together and riding a motor scooter April 8 when they were struck by another vehicle.

Braswell was airlifted to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, where she later died.

Marc, 25, was released from Jackson South Community Hospital last week.

Braswell joined the Delray Beach Police Department in 2005.

Follow this story