Joshua Ceballos/Assistant News Director
Two suspects in a stabbing incident were apprehended by FIUPD around 7:30 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 9 and handed over to Miami-Dade Police Department.
“Earlier this morning, FIU Police Department detained two suspects that were involved in an incident that occurred around 6:30 a.m. at Tamiami Park near MMC,” said Alexander Casas, FIUPD chief of police, to Student Media.
The suspects were under the jurisdiction of the MDPD as the incident occurred in Tamiami Park, but because they entered the campus grounds in an attempt to escape, Casas said it then became FIUPD’s responsibility to assist MDPD.
“The individuals fled onto our campus, where we were able to apprehend them. The issue was handled very quickly, and the investigation is being handled by the Miami-Dade Police Department,” said Casas.
The suspects are Raynel Gallego and Richard Lazo, two 20 year old Hispanic males. The two men reportedly harassed a 74 year old man and his 50 year old daughter who were walking in Tamiami Park around 6:30 a.m., according to an email sent to Student Media by Detective Alvaro Zabaleta, Public Information Officer for MDPD.
The suspects asked the man and his daughter, “for money, cigarettes and a ride to South West Eighth Street,” according to Zabaleta.
After the man refused, the two suspects began throwing rocks at him and his daughter, then proceeded to surround them while Lazo pulled out a knife. Lazo then stabbed the man, and pushed him down, leaving him with cuts on his hand, head, and arm.
Zabaleta said that the suspects were apprehended by FIUPD and given in to MDPD, and they were charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, aggravated battery on a person 65
years of age or older and tampering with physical evidence.
At 7:20 a.m., an FIU Alert was sent out to students across campus, warning them to get to shelter due to police activity.
The alert itself did not give any information beyond “police activity,” and police did not send the the all clear until 7:36 a.m., at which point students were instructed to “resume normal activities.”
Casas said that because the situation was dealt with so quickly, FIUPD did not have time to create a more detailed alert message, which is why the alert was so vague. The purpose was just to ensure the safety of everyone on campus, and there was no need to further explain in the alert because it was swiftly resolved, he said.
A follow-up email was sent out by External Relations two hours later, explaining that two suspects running from Tamiami Park were detained by FIUPD.
Any member of the University community who did not receive an alert via call, text or email should go to dem.fiu.edu to sign up for the alert system in the event of another incident, according to Casas.
Featured Image courtesy of Creative Commons