MIAMI (CBSMiami) – After catching up with the couple, Miami-Dade police say the reported abduction caught on camera at a fast food restaurant in Southwest Miami-Dade turned out to be nothing more than a domestic incident.
According to police, the boyfriend and girlfriend got into an argument at the Wendy’s located in the 16200 block of SW 88th Street at around 6:15 p.m. on Tuesday.
Surveillance video showed the man dragging her out of the restaurant. Police say he grabbed her because she was drunk and wanted to get her out of the restaurant.
Investigators say the woman pleaded with restaurant employees to help her as the subject argued with her over the counter while holding her purse.
“I’m very surprised. This area is very safe. I haven’t heard of that going on for a while,” said customer Alan Garcia. “It makes me think about my family and how safe they are coming to this place for food.”
Police said the suspect grabbed the victim’s arm and forcefully pulled her out of the restaurant even though she tried to brace herself against a door frame.
“She is obviously in distress. The employees are arguing with the male across the counter. He has her purse in his hand and at some point, she is grabbed by the male and taken against her will,” said Det. Chris Thomas.
“From what we can see on the video and her body language,” said Thomas, “she is in distress and she obviously does not want to go with that person.”
Police were treating it as an abduction as they continued to investigate.
They finally caught up with the couple Wednesday evening.
The boyfriend was charged with simply battery for grabbing his girlfriend. However, she signed a “nolle pros,” meaning the charges were dropped.
If this was an abduction, police say citizens are not legally required to take steps to stop an abduction but police are required to do so if they see one happening.
It is not known if Wendy’s has a company policy prohibiting employees from taking physical steps to stop such abductions from happening.
CBS4 reporter Peter D’Oench tried to talk to Wendy’s Restaurant manager, but he told us he had no comment.
Authorities note that employees did call police right away and did try to talk the man out of abducting the woman.