[Video] Hip Hop Weekend Sends Locals Out Of Town and Tourists to Jail
Michael Rosa, a 21-year-old tourist from Philadelphia, is still wondering where is his IPhone .
He said the last time he saw it, it was in the hands of a Miami Beach police officer.
But he also said he had his face planted into the ground with another police officer’s shoe on his head, so it wasn’t exactly the clearest view.
Nevertheless, he plans on filing an internal affairs complaint against the officer he suspects stole his Iphone, a Detective Ochoa.
Rosa was one of 548 people arrested during a five-day span this Memorial Day Weekend. He was charged with reckless driving and resisting arrest after he pulled his scooter up on the sidewalk.
His friend, Israel Diaz, 21, who also pulled his scooter up on the sidewalk, was arrested as well.
They both spent more than 24 hours in the Dade County Jail.
On Tuesday, they were at the Miami Beach Police Department hoping to retrieve Rosa’s phone from the property room, but he was told it wasn’t there.
“They said they had no IPhones,” he said.
He spoke to a commander who told him to return to the station on Wednesday morning in order to confront Ochoa about the missing IPhone, but Rosa had to catch a plane back to Philadelphia.
“It was a $500 phone. I saw the cop holding it up after they knocked me down. I told him that was my phone,” he said.
“Police here are very exaggerated,” added Diaz.
Meanwhile, businesses on South Beach are recovering from the festive, but controversial, weekend that sends many of the locals out of town, and many of the tourists to jail.
The 11th Street Diner reported the worst of it.
“It’s a nightmare,” said manager Isabelle Fernandez, who has been working at the Diner for 16 years. “You have people walking out without paying, sending food back after they’ve eaten half of it.”
“While it was less physically violent this year than previous years, it was more verbally abusive,” she said.
One waitress named Bianca said she was physically threatened by a woman who accused her of getting her order wrong.
“The women are worse than the men,” said Fernandez.
But other businesses said they experienced no problems and are looking forward to next year’s event.
“It was an amazing time,” said Ed Huc, a manager at Ocean’s Ten on Ocean Drive. “Business was better than last year. It was a great vibe. No fights, no problems.”
Kemil Payanas, a manager at Fat Tuesday on Ocean Drive, also reported a positive experience.
“We had a good crowd,” he said. “Everybody was having fun.”
A manager at Mango’s also reported positive experiences.
However, the holiday weekend did take its toll on those venues that cater more to local crowds like Jazid.
“Most of the locals leave town for that weekend, so we experience a drop in business,” said Daniel Wohlstein, owner of Jazid on Washington Avenue.
“We are not a hip hop venue so it really doesn’t appeal to the crowd that was here.”
Venues on Lincoln Road experienced a drop in business because most of the hip hop crowd were confined to Ocean Drive and Washington Avenue and many of the locals dared not enter South Beach during the weekend.
However, those that did venture to Lincoln Road did not leave the best impressions.
“They are always complaining about the food,” said Adriana Castelli, a manager at Van Dyke Café. “They order the food and send it back. It’s the only time of the year when a large amount of people do that.”
Then there was Kim Reynolds, a white marketing executive from Indianapolis who arrived in South Beach for the weekend with her girlfriends and had no idea that it would be hip hop weekend.
“At first I was a little intimidated because it’s not really my crowd,” the 26-year-old woman said. “But then we went out anyway and had a great time.
“Everybody I met was very nice and respectful.”
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