Yesterday, police in Miami responded to a report that 10-12 people were being held hostage in a Little Havana restaurant.
However, when the SWAT team finally got into the restaurant, they found no hostages. A tense situation that lasted several hours came to an end with no one inside the restaurant being held against their will, reported local news station WSVN.
At about 2:45 p.m. on Monday, police responded to the scene. The ordeal took place at the Joseph Club, which is a bar/restaurant on NW 7th St in Little Havana.
Investigators said a woman told police that managers at the restaurant were holding employees and patrons against their will inside after a cellphone was reportedly stolen.
“A female comes out of the business and says that she was being hostage, that there were people being hostage inside, approximately 10 to 12 people,” said Miami Police Officer Michael Vega. “This is how it got started, where we had to call our SWAT team and our negotiation team.”
7News cameras showed six members of the police department’s special response team entering the building with their weapons drawn. Just before 4 p.m., they were seen making their way inside. Cameras also showed officers on the roof of a nearby building with long guns.
Nearby elementary and middle schools were placed on lockdown as a precaution, but the lockdown was lifted just after 4 p.m.
Some time later, law enforcers were seen throwing a roll of cable under the property to establish communication between those inside the restaurant and police negotiators.
“I’m very worried about her, and all the staff, too,” said the woman, referring to a friend of hers who she thought was in the restaurant.
But police said it was all a false alarm.
At around 6:15 p.m., police gave the all clear. “There was no one inside,” Vega told reporters. “The female who originally gave us this information has been detained and she is at the station now being questioned further and pending charges.”
Police also took at least two other people into custody for questioning.
At around 9 p.m. Monday evening, officials sent out a press release stating they still had the woman in custody, but they did not specify whether or not she was under arrest.