Flotsam

A Close Call on South Beach

Sunday morning I awoke to a ferocious banging on the door of my apartment on Michigan Avenue and Eight Street on the Beach.

It was 6:15 a.m.

Again, a thunderous pounding echoed through the four-unit complex. I pottered downstairs. Staring through the glass-paneled door was a male, African-American, mid-twenties.

“Hey,” he said wiping beads of sweat of his forehead, “you gotta let me in to use your phone. Someone just tried to car-jack us. I gotta use your phone to call the police.”

I was alone in the house and the three other units were unoccupied. I turned, wandered back upstairs, and climbed into bed.

Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.

Please don’t smash the glass, reach down, and open the door.

Bang, bang, bang, bang. “I need to use your phone, lemme in.”

I peered out the window; no sign of a car, no-one else on the quiet street.

Bang, bang, bang, bang, bang.

I dressed and called 911 to report the alleged incident and to get the guy away from my door. When the two cop cars pulled up about five minutes later I ventured outside.

Michael Seville stood on the driveway, arms raised. As officer Dionne searched his white T-shirt, calf-length black jean shorts, and blue-checkered, unbuttoned shirt for weapons, Seville told his tale. He was walking back to his car on Eighth Street when someone “Spanish-looking” pulled alongside him, got out and reached into his shorts “for a gun.” Seville fled, hopped a fence, and his in a trash can.

His right calf was scraped and matted with blood. Officer Dionne looked on unimpressed; the two other cops who arrived with him chatted among themselves.

“Do you want me to describe the car to you?” offered Seville.

“Sure,” Dionne nodded, grinning.

“It was a Honda…are you even gonna write this down?”

“No, we’re done here.” The cops walked toward the parked cars.

Before leaving, Dionne turned to me: “You know he was going to rob you, right? You could tell he wasn’t exactly an outstanding citizen...by the way he was talking to us. There were too many inconsistencies in his story.”

I sincerely thank Miami Beach police for arriving so quickly; indeed I was fearful Seville was going to break in and hurt me. But what if he was just scared -- and actually telling the truth?

-- Joanne Green

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