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A news crew was attacked while filming a segment about escalating crime in Miami’s South Beach this week.
CBS4 reporter Bobeth Yates and photojournalist Ebenezer Mends were reporting on the wave of violence along the party’s popular fringe when a fight broke out Wednesday night.
Yates said they were filming the incident when a group of people turned on them.
She and Mends were ‘attacked’, ‘pushed’ and ‘beaten’ by attackers who ‘surrounded’ them and threw liquid in their faces, she said.
Miami Beach police said the incident unfolded shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, when a big fight broke out on Ocean Drive.
The CBS Miami team was in the area reporting on the Miami Beach City Commission’s decision to ban the sale of alcohol in the district after 2 a.m. That decision was made in an effort to curb the increase in violence and antisocial behavior in the area.
The team noticed the fight and began filming it.
The CBS camera caught what happened next, when the group confronted Yates and Mends and told them to stop filming.
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The footage shows at least one man pushing the camera as more people surround the two-person team.
Yates is heard yelling ‘stop’ before the image and audio get fuzzy as the camera falls to the ground.
Yates recounted the incident live and on air on the network’s news broadcast at 11 pm, confirming that the two crew members were unharmed but “shaken” by the attack and that his equipment had been damaged. .
Really shocked. I’ve been reporting for a long time, I don’t want to go out with myself, but about 20 years, and I’ve never been attacked like this in a story, ” Yates said.
“The ironic part is that we were actually covering a crime in South Beach.
“Normally we walked up and down the strip trying to interact with people who were getting interviews, but in this case they came to us.”
Yates said the group “surrounded them” and she “tried to push them back.”
She added that she and Mends were also thrown what they believe was alcohol.
She was also seen two different people pushing the camera before the crowd began to leave the area.
Arrested and Charged
Police said two men were arrested and charged with criminal mischief and battery for the incident. Their names have not been released.
The incident comes amid a crime spree across South Beach that has prompted local officials to clamp down on his party’s reputation.
Miami-Dade County, which includes South Beach, saw murders skyrocket to 272 in 2020, up from 241 in 2019.
That was also far more than the 232 murders recorded in 2017 and 252 in 2015.
Experts blamed COVID-19 for creating friction between police and members of the public, skyrocketing gun sales, a stagnant economy and keeping children out of school.
The Miami Beach City Commission voted Wednesday on a late-night alcohol ban when Mayor Dan Gelber described how “an exclusive entertainment district has given us something we simply cannot control.”
It will go into effect on May 22 for a trial period of seven months.
Bobeth Yates Quicks and Facts
- CBS4 reporter Bobeth Yates and photojournalist Ebenezer Mends were reporting on the wave of violence along the party strip Wednesday night
- A fight broke out and they started filming it but a group of people turned on them
- Yates said she and Mends were both ‘attacked’, ‘pushed’ and ‘hit’
- The attackers also threw liquid thought to be alcohol in their faces, she said
- The Miami Beach City Commission voted Wednesday to ban alcohol sales in the district after 2 am in an effort to curb the rise in violence in the area