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MIAMI (CBSMiami) – A SWAT situation in Miami has been given the all clear by authorities.
Police proceeded cautiously following a report of a hostage situation at a restaurant in Miami.
The Joseph Restaurant is on NW 7th Street at 19th Avenue. Miami police tweeted out what they believe started it.
update: Following a robbery of cell phone outside of the establishment, Joseph Restaurant, our officers were contacted by a female who came out and stated that they are being held hostage by management. https://t.co/AjtgH5CoMx
— Miami PD (@MiamiPD) February 5, 2018
There were police, SWAT officers and Fire Rescue on the scene.
According to police, they received a call for a robbery outside of the bar at approximately 11:10 a.m.
After arriving, police say they were approached by the victim who stated that his cell phone was stolen by someone inside the restaurant and that when he tried to enter the business to call police he was not allowed.
According to police, at approximately 1:30 p.m., just as they were completing their report on the robbery, a woman exited the restaurant and appeared to be in distress.
“Another female exited the establishment, which is a club, and said the management was holding them hostage and not allowing them to come out,” said Miami Police officer Michael Vega.
The woman stated that the restaurant manager was holding her and 10-to-12 other people hostage inside the building because he didn’t want them to speak about the alleged robbery, police say.
Shortly after that a perimeter was established and for the next three hours, police say they attempted to make contact with anyone inside but efforts proved to be unsuccessful.
CBS4 spoke to a neighbor who said his family was stuck outside for hours and did not have access to necessary medications.
“My grandma has a pacemaker and my mom’s taking medication for blood pressure so she couldn’t get in and she was on the side of the road for a while,” said Ivan Mendoza.
At around 5:50 p.m. following a search of the premises, the SWAT team concluded that the building was clear and nobody was inside.
“This was a waste of resources and for people who really needed help today. All of the police were here,” Mendoza added.
Police say that the woman who provided the initial hostage situation information was detained and questioned by detectives, as were two other people.
Nearby Citrus Grove Elementary and Citrus Grove Jr High were placed on lock down as a precautionary measure.