Video captures brawl with police at Miami airport; Kissimmee man arrested

Florida officer pulls out gun in confrontation with unruly passenger

A brawl is captured on video at Miami International Airport. (Mike Majlak)

MIAMI – Two people, including a Kissimmee man, are behind bars after a fracas with police officers that was captured on camera Monday evening at Miami International Airport, News 6 partner WPLG-TV reported.

[WATCH VIDEO IN TWEET BELOW]

Police say an unruly passenger commandeered an airport transport cart from an employee and then got into a physical confrontation with officers who were called to respond as a large group of people gathered around Gate H8.

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Mayfrer Serranopaca, 30, of Kissimmee, faces a number of charges, including battery on a police officer, resisting an officer with violence and incite to riot.

Alberto Yanez-Suarez, 32, of Odessa, Texas, is accused of grabbing and pulling officers who were in the process of arresting Serranopaca. He faces charges of battery of a police officer and resisting an officer with violence.

Both were booked into jail Tuesday morning.

The incident, caught on cellphone camera, happened shortly after 6:30 p.m. Monday.

The video shows an officer attempting to restrain a man as a crowd of people surrounded him. At one point, the two separate, and the video shows the man, who police say is Serranopaca, charge at the officer with his arms flailing.

Eventually, the officer breaks free and pulls out his gun.

According to an arrest affidavit, an officer reported being “struck multiple times by other unknown passengers” and “drew his firearm and pointed it in the direction of the incited crowd.” The officer said he feared for his and another officer’s safety, according to the police report.

The officers said they commanded the crowd to stay back and kept their distance until more police arrived.

There were no major injuries reported. Police said Serranopaca complained of feeling ill and having arm pain; he was treated at the scene. A responding officer was also treated after being bitten on the head by Serranopaca, investigators said.

“An unruly passenger on a flight to Santo Domingo was upset about something,” said witness Mike Mailak, who captured the incident on his cellphone camera. “I wasn’t sure if it was his class of travel, his check bag fees, a delay, something.”

Mayfrer Serranopaca and Alberto Suarez were arrested Monday night after an altercation with police at Miami International Airport. (Miami-Dade Corrections photos)

Serranopaca’s flight to Santo Domingo on Air Century Airline had been delayed, and the arrest report states that he confronted a Turkish Airlines employee on the transport cart, demanding to be contacted by someone from the airline he was having an issue with.

After being told by that employee that he couldn’t help him, because he worked for a different airline, Serranopaca snatched the cart’s key, breaking it and preventing the employee from driving away, the report says.

Police say they approached Serranopaca, who was in the cart, and tried to calm him down, but they claim he incited a crowd of other frustrated passengers to gather.

An officer stated that when he reached for his radio to call for backup, Serranopaca grabbed his arm. The officer struck Serranopaca, and the physical struggle ensued.

The airport released a statement Monday night that read:

“Like airports across the country, MIA is seeing 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. Disruptive passengers face police arrest, civil penalties up to $37,000, being banned from flying, and potential federal prosecution. We have worked so hard to rebound from the pandemic and make traveling safe again, so we can visit our loved ones. Please travel responsibly by getting to the airport extra early, being patient, complying with the federal mask law and airport staff, limiting your alcohol consumption, and notifying police at the first sign of bad behavior by calling 911.”

Miami-Dade police ask anyone with information about this incident to call CrimeStoppers 305-471-8477.


About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!