Video: Brawl breaks out between cops, passengers inside Miami airport
One of the officers drew his weapon after being bitten on the head by an irate passenger
By DAVID FISCHER
MIAMI — Two travelers are facing charges following a brawl with police at Miami International Airport, authorities said.
Mayfrer Serranopaca, 30, of Kissimmee, Florida, and Alberto Yanez Suarez, 32, of Odessa, Texas, were arrested in Concourse H following Monday evening's fight, according to Miami-Dade police reports. They were each charged with battery on a law enforcement officer and resisting arrest, while Serranopaca also faces six additional counts that include burglary and inciting a riot.
MIA Director and CEO Ralph Cutié said in a statement that the airport is experiencing record-high passenger numbers this winter travel season.
"Unfortunately, that passenger growth has come with a record-high increase nationwide in bad behavior as well, such as the incident this evening at MIA," Cutié said Monday. "Disruptive passengers face police arrest, civil penalties up to $37,000, being banned from flying, and potential federal prosecution."
Monday's confrontation, which was captured on video by another traveler, began when Serranopaca hopped onto a cart driven by an airport employee and refused to move until the worker gave him information about his delayed flight, according to the arrest report. The employee said he didn't work for the airline and didn't have any information about the flight. The worker eventually called for airport police.
Two officers responded and tried to calm Serranopaca, police said. Serranopaca attempted to incite the nearby crowd and began to fight with the officers, biting one of them on the head, authorities said. At one point, an officer broke free of the struggle and drew his firearm, though no shots were fired, police said.
As additional officers arrived and attempted to take Serranopaca into custody, officials said Yanez Suarez intervened and attempted to pull the police off of Serranopaca, prompting officers to arrest him, as well.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue treated Serranopaca and the bitten officer at the scene, officials said.
Serranopaca was being held on $29,500 bond, and Yanez Suarez was later freed on $15,000 bond. A defense attorney for Serranopaca didn't immediately respond to a message seeking comment from The Associated Press. Court and jail records didn't list an attorney for Yanez Suarez.