Fighting broke out inside Miami International Airport; 2 travelers are charged

MIAMI – Two tourists are facing charges after an altercation with police at Miami International Airport, authorities said.

According to the Miami-Dade police report, Mayfrer Serranopaca, 30, Kissimmee, Florida, and Alberto Yanez Suarez, 32, of Odessa, Texas. They were each charged with a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, while Serranopaca also faces six additional counts including theft and inciting riot.

MIA director and CEO Ralph Cutié said in a statement that the airport was experiencing a record high number of passengers during this year’s winter travel season.

“Unfortunately, that passenger increase has been accompanied by a record nationwide increase in bad behavior, such as tonight’s incident at the MIA,” Cutié said Monday. “Disruptive passengers face police arrest, civil fines of up to $37,000, a flight ban and potentially federal prosecution.”

Monday’s confrontation, video-recorded by another traveler, began when Serranopaca jumped onto a trolley driven by an airport employee and refused to move until the officer gave him information about his flight was delayed, according to the arrest report. The employee said he did not work for the airline and did not have any information about the flight. The employee eventually called the airport police.

Police said two officers responded and tried to calm Serranopaca. Serranopaca tried to incite a nearby crowd and began fighting with the officers, biting one of them in the head, authorities said. At one point, an officer broke free of the struggle and pulled his gun, though no shots were fired, police said.

When additional officers arrived and tried to arrest Serranopaca, officials said Yanez Suarez intervened and attempted to pull police away from Serranopaca, prompting officers to arrest him as well.

The Miami-Dade Fire Brigade treated Serranopaca and the officer who was bitten at the scene, officials said.

Serranopaca was held for $29,500, and Yanez Suarez was later released on $15,000. A defense attorney for Serranopaca did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment from the Associated Press. Court and prison records do not list an attorney for Yanez Suarez.

Copyright © 2021 by Associated Press. Copyright Registered. Fighting broke out inside Miami International Airport; 2 travelers are charged

Dais Johnston

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