MIAMI (WSVN) – A woman who barricaded herself for almost 13 hours in a car has been transported to the hospital.
The car was said to have been parked and unoccupied in Miami’s Wynwood neighborhood, near North Miami Avenue and Northwest 20th Street, for about a week or two.
“We were able to have her come out of the vehicle, and at the current moment, she is getting the help that she needs,” Miami Police Commander Freddie Cruz said. “We believe it’s a mental-health issue, and tonight, the most important thing is that she is getting the help that she needs.”
The woman, who was said to be between 40 and 50 years old, was transported by police without injury to an area hospital for evaluation.
“I recognized it when I seen it on TV,” a man familiar with the woman said. “It was a white Honda. She don’t mean no harm to nobody. She’s just trying to find somewhere to rest.”
Police said they lost contact with the woman and eventually broke a window to check on her. Once the window was broken, that’s when the woman got out of the car.
On Tuesday, during a Miami Police officer’s morning patrol, it was the first time he had noticed an individual inside the vehicle.
When the officer approached the woman inside of the vehicle, he found a gun in the car. He asked her why she had it, to which she responded it was to protect herself.
After the conversation, the officer called for backup.
Police advised drivers to avoid the area of North Miami Avenue through Northwest First Avenue, between 20th and 23rd streets.
“We’re hoping for a safe resolution,” Cruz said Tuesday afternoon. “We’re hoping that she comes out of the vehicle without the firearm, but again, we have to take all precautions for the safety of our officers and the community.”
The woman inside the vehicle communicated with officials, including a crisis negotiator.
At around 2:30 p.m. the woman opened the car door slightly when what seems to be a mechanical arm placed a Styrofoam cup on the hood of the car.
“We’re trying to establish a good rapport with her,” Cruz said. “We’re offering this young lady water, food. Her safety is paramount to us. We don’t want her hurting herself or anyone else, for that matter.”
The road closures caused havoc for many in the area.
Nearby Miami Arts Charter School was locked down because of the police activity, and some businesses were prevented from opening.
“Usually we have a line out the door, and today, not one line,” business owner Dustin Atoigue said.
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