Bond denied for suspected assailants of NYPD detective in Miami Beach
BY LOMI KRIEL
September 16, 2011
A witness statement and blood evidence are among the details revealed at a bond hearing for the two suspects charged with shooting a NYPD detective on vacation in Miami Beach
Francisco Henriquez, 35, arrives in court where he is charged along with Mustafa Lee with robbing and shooting a New York detective who was on vacation on Miami Beach. The policeman, Harold Thomas shot back and hit Lee but was wounded and is recovering in New York. The two defendants were in court for a bond hearing. September 16, 2011. TIM CHAPMAN / MIAMI HERALD STAFF
Mustafa Lee, 28, arrives in court on crutches because he was shot in the leg by a New York detective who Lee and Francisco Henriquez are charged with robbing and shooting while the policeman, Harold Thomas was on vacation on Miami Beach. The policeman shot back
A Miami judge denied bond Friday for two suspects accused of trying to rob a New York City police detective vacationing in South Beach, then shooting him in the thigh during an early morning gunfight in his hotel courtyard.
Detective Harold Thomas, a 27-year-veteran of the force, is still hospitalized in New York after a gunshot wound damaged his femoral artery.
The two suspects, Francisco Henriquez, 35, and Mustafa Lee, 28, remain in Miami-Dade County jail charged with attempted murder, attempted burglary, attempted armed robbery, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon.
More details of the incident were revealed during Friday’s hearing.
Thomas, 48, was vacationing in Miami Beach with two other NYPD detectives and their partners. He was returning to his hotel, the Zen Luxury Living Lofts 1233 Collins Ave., in the early morning hours on July 23, according to an affidavit. As he punched in the hotel security code and walked into the courtyard, he saw two men seemingly asleep on a bench. Suddenly, one jumped up holding a semi-automatic pistol and told him to run. The second had a revolver.
Fearing he would be robbed or killed, the detective took cover and drew his police-issued pistol as the men pointed their weapons at him, authorities said.
A gunfight erupted, injuring Thomas and one of his assailants, before the attackers escaped. Officers found a bleeding, unconscious Thomas. A police spokeswoman said the attackers left him “as dead on the ground.”
Miami Beach detective Mario Peña testified Friday a witness saw two men walking on neighboring Ocean Court. Shortly after, the witness heard gunshots, and saw the men running to a BMW parked nearby. Surveillance video shows the BMW speeding north on Ocean Court.
Officers linked Henriquez to the area via an electronic monitoring bracelet he was wearing while awaiting trial on a separate armed robbery charge. DNA tests are pending on blood discovered in a white BMW owned by Henriquez’s wife.
Thomas identified Lee in a photo line-up. Police also connected blood at the scene with blood on Lee’s clothes.
On the same day of the shooting, police followed a tip of a suspicious gunshot victim, later identified as Lee, who showed up for treatment at Plantation General Hospital in Broward. The two were arrested.
Defense attorneys argued there was no evidence the men planned to rob the detective and questioned why Thomas fired so many times. Officers found 16 casings. They noted Thomas had been out all night, and wondered whether he could accurately recall what transpired.
Trial is set for Novemberin front of Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Diane Ward.