MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A man was critically injured Friday morning after being struck by an unmarked Miami police car.
According to CBS4 news partner, The Miami Herald, the man was being chased after he was spotted spray-painting graffiti on a building in Wynwood.
Police said Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez, 21, of Pembroke Pines, was taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital where he remains in critical condition.
Miami Police Chief Manuel Orosa told the paper that gang unit officer Michael Cadavid, who was driving the car he said accidentally hit Gutierrez, was part of an undercover unit deployed each year to Wynwood and Midtown Miami as thousands of visitors flock to the area, one of the hotbeds of activity during Art Basel.
Rodriguez was reportedly “tagging” a building at NW 5 Avenue and 24 Street.
Police said Gutierrez turned a corner and ducked between two parked cars while trying to get rid of the spray-paint can he had used to draw on the building.
When Cadavid’s car turned the corner, Gutierrez stepped out from between the cars, Orosa said, and was hit.
If Gutierrez’s condition improves, he will be charged with some type of vandalism, police said.
Officials will also examine the black box in Cadavid’s car to see the speed the officer was driving as an accident happens.
There was no video camera in the patrol car, or on Cadavid, police said.
(©2014 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. CBS4 news partner The Miami Herald contributed material for this report.)
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