MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A massive police presence on Miami Beach early Thursday evening had onlookers trying to figure out what was going on. What started with a purse snatching ended up with an officer and a robbery suspect being hit by a police car and taken to the hospital.
Lajuan Darius White, who police identified as being homeless in Miami Beach, is the suspect who police say was on a bike when he grabbed a New Orleans tourist’s purse as she was walking on the beach.
Officer Christopher Marin was detaining White while another office arriving to help unintentionally hit the two with his patrol car, knocking them to the ground.
White was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center where he remained on Friday, according to Miami Beach police. Marin was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital after he was treated for minor injuries.
Miami Beach police said at the time of White’s arrest that they also found three clear yellow baggies with suspected cocaine inside White’s right pocket, other bags were found in the defendant’s jacket pocket along with drug paraphernalia that contained narcotics residue, according to police.
It started when the victim was walking southbound in the 2200 block of the beach walk with a black, crossbody purse around her neck and shoulder, she told police.
She said she saw a man on a bike approaching northbound and, as they crossed paths, the bicyclist ripped the purse straps and took off with the bag.
The woman started chasing the man on the bike but lost track of him about a block away. A witness who saw the robbery continued to follow behind the bicyclist and called 911.
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