85-Year-Old Coconut Grove Woman Says Miami Police Roughed Her Up

Hazel Mays is 85-years-old, frail and hard of hearing. But according to one Miami police officer, the elderly Coconut Grove woman was strong enough to push him around and try steal his gun.

Mays, though, tells a local TV station that the police used excessive force after she simply couldn't hear commands from an officer blocking her way home. "Anyone should know, weak as I am, what am I going to do with his gun?" Mays asked Channel 10.

Mays was arrested on Sunday after police say she refused to back away from the scene of an arson fire near her home in the Grove. In an arrest report, an officer wrote that Mays "pulled his shoulder" and tried to grab his gun.

Witnesses tell Channel 10 that officers then "roughed up" Mays and body-slammed her 52-year-old daughter when she ran in to help her mom.

Mays daughter-in-law, Lettie Riley, tells the station that Mays simply couldn't hear what the officer was telling her. "My mama could hardly hear you," she says.

Mays spent most of Sunday and Monday in custody before a judge found no probable cause on three of the five charges against her, Channel 10 reports.

Miami PD spokesman Det. Willie Moreno says the department is investigating the incident.

The case isn't the first black eye for Chief Miguel Exposito's force in Coconut Grove. Last Halloween, partiers captured a violent beat-down from officers on camera.

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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink