Man fatally injured Yorkshire terrier after dog vomited in his car, Miami Beach police say

Miami Beach police have arrested a man in the death of a Yorkshire terrier that was found with several broken ribs in a parking garage, authorities said on Wednesday.

Sigman Hernandez, 40, surrendered to Miami Beach police Wednesday and was charged of animal cruelty. 

After being read his rights he confessed that he slapped and possibly choked the dog because she vomited in his car, police said.

Hernandez  then told police he pushed the dog with his feet after placing her on the garage, according to a police report. He then abandoned the dog. 

A Publix employee found the dog April 7 at about 11 p.m. in a parking garage next to the supermarket.

Photos of the 6-pound dog show her lying motionless on the ground next to a concrete support column and trash can between parking spaces. 

The dog, who police named Lily, did not have a tag or microchip.

The employee tracked down Detective Gus Sanchez, who was working security at the Publix. With the help of Officer Pablo Gonzalez, the two were able to  determine that the dog was still breaking and occasionally crying in pain. 

“She was just lying on her side. She was not moving. She was yelping occasionally, and you could really see something was wrong. She was really hurt, badly,” Officer Mariana Garcia said, who also responded to the scene.

Garcia helped get Lily to an animal trauma center.

Veterinarians said the dog had seven broken ribs and signs of strangulation. There was no evidence that she could have been hit by a car.

“The canine’s midsection also appeared swollen and distorted,” according to a police report. “Her eyes were also bloodshot red and she would occasionally moan in pain.”

Lily appeared to be dying, police said, and she was in “very bad shape.” 

The medical staff later determined that Lily had seven broken ribs on her left side and two broken ribs on her right side. She also had swelling in her neck. 

The veterinary staff at the hospital said Lily had suffered significant blunt trauma and that her bloodshot eyes may have been a sign that she was strangled at some point. 

Veterinarians tried everything to save the little dog, but she died two days later.

“This case, this person just dumped her body and was like, just discarded her and didn’t even want to take the time to (end) her misery,” Dr. Joy Carter of Doral Centre Animal Hospital said. “(He) just let her suffer and die.” 

Surveillance video shows a red Toyota Yaris pulling in to the Publix parking garage off West Avenue the morning of April 7.

“The gentleman in the video is seen removing something from the passenger side and placing it down near the trash can area,” Garcia said. “We do believe it’s Lily that he removed from his vehicle.”

Hernandez is allegedly later seen taking an elevator to the bathroom before leaving.

Hernandez’s boss, Juan Barrera, said he recognized his employee from the surveillance video.

“I knew who it was,” he said.”I was real upset at what I (saw) on TV. I have a dog myself and that was not nice.” 

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Nearly $150,000 worth of jewelry stolen from Miami Beach home

Miami Beach police are searching for three men who were captured on surveillance video earlier this year jumping over the front gate of a home.

The burglary was reported Jan. 20 at a home on Hibiscus Drive.

According to an incident report, the victim returned home just after 11 a.m. from her workout and found that her bedroom had been ransacked.

The woman told police that she did not activate her alarm when she left, but locked all the doors and windows.

Police said the thieves broke into the home by prying open a kitchen window. They said a wall safe had also been forced open and $146,500 worth of jewelry had been stolen, including a $25,000 women’s wedding ring and a $2,500 men’s wedding band.

Other rings, bracelets and watches were also stolen, police said.

A witness told detectives that he saw a man walking back and forth in front of the victim’s home earlier that morning between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m.

He said the man was speaking on a cellphone.

The witness said he eventually lost sight of the man and then saw someone on a motorcycle drive around the block several times.

Authorities said three men were later captured on surveillance video jumping over the front gate of the home.

Anyone with information about the burglars’ identities is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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Haitian SLS Hotel employees called ‘slaves,’ fired based on race, lawsuit claims

The SLS Hotel in Miami Beach terminated Haitian employees based on their race and skin color, according to a lawsuit filed Tuesday by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The lawsuit claims that 15 black Haitian dishwashers were fired from the hotel in April 2014 and replaced with “light-skinned Hispanics” after the hotel outsourced their positions without providing the Haitian employees the opportunity to apply to the staffing agency before their termination.

“The terminations, per the complaint, were not performance-based,” the EEOC said in a news release.

While on the job, managers and chefs called black Haitian dishwashers “slaves” and “f—ing Haitians,” the EECO said.

“In response to requests to fix the broken service elevator and in reference to black Haitian stewards/dishwashers, one manager stated ‘Let those slaves do the work,'” the lawsuit said.

Although there wasn’t a written language policy, the employees were reprimanded by management for speaking Creole, even if it was one-on-one with a fellow dishwasher, even though Hispanic kitchen workers were allowed to speak Spanish while at work, the lawsuit said.

When the employees complained to human resources about the language practices the actions of management were not corrected, the lawsuit said.  

The employees named in the lawsuit were assigned to carry heavy items, and to perform other difficult tasks that Hispanic employees weren’t tasked with performing.

On April 9, 2014, the 15 Haitian employees were terminated.

Some of those employees weren’t scheduled to work that day, and were then “tricked” into coming into work by management who told them there was a big party and that the kitchen was going to be busy, so extra help would be needed, the lawsuit said.

The employees were each asked to speak to human resources one-by-one on the day they were terminated, the lawsuit said. Some employees were not paid for the hours they worked on the day of their termination.

Upon being fired, the employees were handed a six-page settlement agreement, which was single spaced, and written in English. Many of the employees signed the document, which was not translated into Creole.

After they were fired, staffing company National Service Group replaced the employees with a staff made up of almost entirely white and Hispanic workers.

A kitchen worker who was the only person of  Hispanic origin fired that day, was hired by NSG to work at the hotel again.

“Employers should not be able to avoid liability by using a staffing agency to discriminate when it cannot lawfully do so on its own,” said Robert E. Wrisberg, a regional attorney for the EECO’s Miami District Office. “Consistent with the agency’s strategic enforcement goals, the EEOC will be vigilant in ensuring employment discrimination is not different behind increasingly complex business relations, including the outsourcing concept.”

The lawsuit asks for the hotel to pay back payments and any other money owed to the terminated employees. It also called on SLS Hotel to institute and carry out equal-employment opportunities for black or Haitian employees.

James L. Greeley, the chief legal officer, for SBE Hotel Group released the following statement:

“SBE made the decision more than two years ago to outsource the staffing of a number of the departments of the SLS South Beach for economic reasons, helping to manage the wide seasonal fluctuations in the Florida market. When this issue first came to our attention, we immediately conducted a thorough internal investigation and found no evidence of wrongdoing.

“We shared all of that information with the EEOC, and have been engaged in what we thought were cooperative and good-faith discussions about how to resolve this matter.  We do not believe we have done anything wrong and will fully defend our company against any false claims.” 

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Rapper Chief Keef arrested on DUI charge in Miami Beach

A popular rapper was arrested Saturday afternoon in Miami Beach on a charge of driving under the influence.

Miami Beach police said they watched a man get out of a green Maclaren, which was found later to be driven by Keith Cozart, 21, also known as rapper Chief Keef, in the 200 block of 12th Street and run to a Nissan Altima behind them to hand the man in the passenger seat a bag of a leafy green substance.

After seeing officers, the man ran back to Cozart’s car and tried to get back in, but an officer held he and Cozart at stun-gunpoint.

Police said the driver of the Altima, Jamil Perkins, 25, was seen shoving a bag of suspected marijuana and a baby bottle with a syrupy liquid under his seat by the door, adding that passenger Devante Reeves, 22, tried to dispose of marijuana out of a small bag as he opened the car door. Officers said the men were held at gunpoint until backup arrived.

According to a police report, Cozart had bloodshot eyes and what they described as “mush mouth,” adding that he had a cup filled with a drink known as sizzurp, or purple drank — a mixture of codeine-based prescription cough syrup, soda and Jolly Ranchers.

Police said Cozart failed a DUI test and told them, “When you find weed in my urine, I’ll just get my attorney to get my marijuana card. You’ll find weed in me.”

Cozart faces a DUI charge.

Reeves and Bryant were arrested on drug charges. Reeves had additional warrants out for his arrest and was found with nine fraudulent credit cards on him.

Police said Perkins was found to be driving on a suspended license and to have four fraudulent credit cards on him.

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Miami Beach police officers investigate Ocean Drive shooting

Miami Beach police officers were investigating a Friday night shooting on Ocean Drive. 

Witnesses heard shots were fired on Ocean Drive at 10th Street, about 9 p.m., according to the Miami Beach Police Department. 

Minutes after the shooting, a police officer stopped a driver at 9th Street and Collins Avenue, near the Ocean Hotel and Hostel.

MBPD Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said officers detained a man.

Rodriguez said they hadn’t identified a victim in the shooting. The area of Ocean Drive was closed during the investigationn. 

This is a developing story. Refresh this link for the latest information. 

Local 10 News’ Marcine Joseph contributed to this report. 

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