Public Sounds Off On Punishment For Palmetto Bomb Scare Suspect
MIAMI (CBS4) – The man accused of shutting down part of the Palmetto Expressway during last Friday’s evening rush hour is still in jail.
Days after the ordeal, South Floridians are still talking it and what, if any, punishment Lee Lewis, 28, should face for allegedly leaving a hearse full of fake weapons abandoned under the Expressway overpass.
Charges against Lewis include possession of ammunition by a convicted felon, drug possession, and driving with a suspended license. During a hearing on Sunday, Judge Martin Shapiro ordered a mental health evaluation and set bond at $37,500. Lots of people are talking about whether Lewis should stay in jail.
Callers on both sides of the issue sounded off to Newsradio 610 WIOD’s Rich Minaya during his afternoon talk show. One caller who was stopped in traffic said he should spend “at least” thirty days in jail. Another disagreed saying, “Jail is not a place to sit in just because you inconvenience somebody.”
Lewis’s ex-girlfriend Kristen Riddell says she lived with Lewis for 7 months before they broke up three years ago. She described him as an “eccentric” person who likes attention. She says that’s why he bought the hearse.
“I guess he wanted to be the center of attention and now he really is,” said Riddell. She says she never knew he had any guns, real or fake. She said he was generally “a good guy.”
Another friend, Jessica Wilpon said she thinks this was a simple case of bad luck. She said Lewis was evicted from his apartment and put everything he owned into his car. She thinks the car broke down and Lewis went to get help. “Wrong place, wrong time, wrong items in the vehicle,” she added.
Both friends say they think police did the right thing by shutting down the road after finding the hearse that appeared to have guns inside.
“What if it was a real threat i would want them to do it,” Wilpon said. “Being that I do know him I know they’re not real, but not everybody knows him.”