Update 10/30: Angelic Valle, a 22-year-old Miamian, has been arrested in connection with the case.
Update: Miami Beach Police have provided New Times with an incident report of the event, which took place October 9. No one has been arrested, but there is a person of interest in the case. It is an open investigation.
In the video, a topless young woman laughs and dances as a crowd of leering men on Ocean Drive hoots and hollers, yelling for more. Then she obliges, twerking on the leg of a table before going completely nude, lying spread eagle in a booth as the men grope her and pour water, straws, and ketchup on her naked body until a flustered server finally kicks her out.
The extremely NSFW clip has gone viral on World Star Hip-Hop since it was uploaded earlier this month. But for some nearby business owners on South Beach, it's just the latest evidence that Ocean Drive is out of control — and the city isn't willing to clamp down.
“This is happening in the middle of the day!” says Mitch Novick, a longtime South Beach resident and owner of the Sherbrooke Hotel. “I post videos of this kind of stuff, but this was truly bad, and it shouldn’t be made public. It’s too explicit and X-rated.”
Novick is part of an activist group of business owners who believe the loud, roaring music emanating from Ocean Drive’s establishments acts like a siren call to the drunk and rowdy. He says it has gotten worse in recent years and now dubs Miami Beach’s iconic boulevard a “cesspool of lawlessness.”
According to Novick, though, it’s an easy fix. He says tweaks to the current noise ordinances and zoning regulations would bring much-needed order to the streets. He even uploads and circulates videos of the debauchery on the I Love Miami Beach YouTube channel as evidence.
But the video of the nude woman covered in ketchup is a new low for the iconic strip, he says. According to World Star, the clip was uploaded October 18. There's no context explaining how the woman ended up nude and dancing in front of the restaurant, which appears to be the Johnny Rockets on Ocean Drive.
Miami Beach Police tell New Times they have no record of the incident — and indeed, police are never seen intervening in the clip. The manager of the Johnny Rockets says that she is unaware of the video and that staff did not mention the incident to her.
But Novick says as extreme as the clip might be, it's not out of the ordinary for Ocean Drive, where drunken shenanigans are now the norm.
“I’ve been collecting videos of the vulgarness on that stretch — the urinating, the fighting — nothing shocks me,” he says. “I’m at the point where enough is enough. People are getting shot, women are being sexually assaulted, pedestrians are being killed by hit-and-run drivers.”
Novick is especially upset because he believes this latest incident could have been prevented. He sits on the mayor’s special Ocean Drive task force and says that three months ago, he made a motion to ticket loud vehicular music. But it was shot down twice.
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“Once we start enforcing, it would create the image that anything doesn’t go here,” he says.
Jeff Oris, the City of Miami Beach’s economic development director and liaison to the task force, has not seen the video. He says other establishment owners are instead suggesting a training program for employees. The program would help them “to defuse an escalating situation.”
But Novick doesn’t buy it. “That’s not going to prevent the behavior in the first place,” he says. “This is a big red flag, and as a community, we need to focus and address the zoning that allows for this behavior.”
According to the police report, the young woman in the clip came down the stairs topless, and then a man created a barrier from management with overturned chairs and tables. The manager told police that the woman "grabbed one of the four legs [of the table] and placed the steel chair leg into her buttocks." That's when patrons started running out and men began circling around her. A chef from the Colony Hotel overheard the woman saying, "Look me up on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook." She came back (with clothes on) to collect her shoes and handbag. Damages are listed at $420.