Police Chief Carlos Noriega said the weekend’s relative peace was shattered just before 4 a.m. when a driver struck an officer with his car near Collins Avenue and 16th Street. Noriega said the officer was not from Miami Beach, but an employee of one of many departments who help police South Beach’s Urban Beach Week crowds, which come for hip-hop shows and private parties and can grow to be several hundred thousand strong.
Noriega said the driver sped off and officers on bicycles had to jump out of the way as the car headed south, running over their bikes, driving on the sidewalk and striking “countless” vehicles for about three blocks. Unconfirmed witness reports say the driver was shooting out of his car as police gave chase, though Noriega said police did not find a gun.
He also said four bystanders were shot during the chase, and said they could have been hit by stray bullets fired by police officers.