On Wednesday, seven people were seriously injured in what has to be one of the craziest carjackings in Miami history. As valets at downtown's J.W. Marriott Marquis unloaded bags from a brand new Lexus, a man jumped in and plowed through cars and bystanders to escape.
This morning, police have released video of the crime. It's a bizarre scene that includes several bystanders encumbered by bulky silver balloons rushing around, valets valiantly trying to wrestled the carjacker out of the Lexus and one terrifying moment where it all goes wrong.
Here's the tape from the Marriott's surveillance cameras, via the Miami Herald:
There are more than a few surprising takeaways from the tape. First, the carjacker himself -- later identified by police as an "active downtown criminal" with more than 20 felonies named Alberto Ruiz -- is impressively casual about stealing the car.
He's the guy in a red shirt, jeans, and white shoes at the beginning of the video loitering around the sidewalk, casually glancing around and finally calmly easing into the driver's seat.
We Believe Local Journalism is Critical to the Life of a City
Engaging with our readers is essential to Miami New Times's mission. Make a financial contribution or sign up for a newsletter, and help us keep telling Miami's stories with no paywalls.
Support Our Journalism
Of course, the next phase of the crime is anything but casual. After knocking the valets behind the Lexus down, he desperately tries to ram his way out of the lane but is blocked in by several other cars.
Valets hang onto his door and try to wrestle him out. The most serious injuries seems to occur around the 50-second mark, when he wildly reverses into a car behind him, pinning several people in between, before squealing away.
Police later found Ruiz at a Flager motel. He's facing seven counts of aggravated battery, resisting arrest, carjacking and attempted murder.