MIAMI BEACH (CBSMiami) – New police dispatch recordings obtained by CBS4 show 18-year-old Israel Hernandez racing through a Miami Beach neighborhood and eluding pursuing police before he was shocked by a Taser and later dies.
CBS4 obtained the recordings through the website Broadcastify and they reveal the police procedures in the moments after they say he illegally vandalized an empty McDonald’s restaurant at 71st Street and Collins Avenue and then took off running.
On the recordings, police describe Hernandez and sound in some occasions as if they are out of breath as they explain that Hernandez is zig-zagging in and out of the neighborhood before he is finally stopped at 71st Street and Harding Avenue early last Tuesday morning in darkness. That’s where police say Officer Jorge Mercado was forced to shock Hernandez once with a Taser when he ran at police.
On the recordings, you first hear a description of Hernandez.
“He is six foot one, a Latin male, wearing a cream colored shirt with long sleeves. He’s running southbound through Collins.”
“He went southbound through the scene from the 7000 blocks through Collins,” says an officer. “Between Harding and Collins. He’s on the perimeter.”
Police have trouble catching up with Hernandez.
“Yeah like I said this is a misdemeanor,” said one officer. “We are not going to bring dogs for this. We are going to be looking to see if we find him. He is probably hiding somewhere.”
“Let them know we are going to be on Harding just before 71st Street on the east side of the bank,” said another officer. That is where Hernandez was shocked with the Taser. He went into cardiac arrest and was transported to a Miami Beach hospital but died shortly after.
On the recordings, dispatch congratulates the officers on the arrest. Officers ask that crime scene investigators be called to the scene so they can photograph the vandalism on the building.
Last Friday, Miami Beach Police Chief Raymond Martinez told CBS4’s Peter D’Oench, “He was running at officers as we best we know and he was tased in the front. This was a single tasing. He was not tased multiple times by multiple officers. The officer has to make a quick decision.”
Chief Martinez said, “Everything we have seen and reviewed so far is that the use of the Taser was appropriate.”
Fabio Andrade, a spokesman for the Hernandez family, said relatives did not want to speak on camera Tuesday because they were busy preparing for funeral services and the repose of Hernandez on Tuesday night.
“There’s no comment right now,” said Andrade. “We’re all waiting to see the outcome of 2 or 3 investigations moving forward.”
He was referring to investigations by Miami Beach Police internal affairs, the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s office and the Florida Department of Law Enforcement.
Chief Martinez said the department hopes to find out more after the results of the autopsy were reported. He said that could take four to six weeks.
There will be a burial service for Hernandez on Wednesday at 1 p.m. at the Vista Memorial Gardens and Funeral Home at 14200 NW 57th Avenue in Miami Lakes.