Skateboarder's sister says family is relieved injury not result of beating
Surveillance video shows skateboarder falling down
A woman said her family is relieved after Miami police say surveillance video revealed that her brother actually fell off his skateboard after telling police he was attacked by a group of men.
Rene Betancourt Jr., 22, was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital on Tuesday, more than a week after the July 7 incident that left him with a fractured skull, a broken nose, a damaged eye and several missing teeth.
WATCH: Surveillance video
Betancourt had told investigators he went to downtown Miami about 1 a.m. July 7 to meet up with a group of skateboarders he had heard about online, and a group of men severely beat him. His family told police that Betancourt lost consciousness and did not call 911, but he woke up about 11:30 a.m. and tried to drive himself to Jackson Memorial Hospital. He did not make it, but relatives were able to get a hold of Betancourt and take him to the hospital.
On Friday, Miami police said they reviewed surveillance video from an office building near Northwest 12th Avenue and 14th Street. Investigators said it shows Betancourt fall down while skateboarding, and then getting on the building's elevator.
The video shows Betancourt crash into a wall in the parking garage, slamming his head, then fall hard onto the ground, face-first. He lay there for about five minutes before making his way to an elevator, and video there showed him bent over in pain, police said.
Investigators said the kind of impact seen in the video is consistent with Betancourt's injuries, which they initially thought were the result of a beating.
Miami police said detectives believe Betancourt was injured in an accident and was never beaten.
Kenia Reyes, of the Miami Police Department, said there were inconsistencies in Betancourt's story from the beginning. She said police are not accusing Betancourt of lying, but that he may have been confused after the crash.
Rene's sister, Andrea Betancourt, said their family was relieved her brother's injuries were the result of an accident, and not someone violently hurting him.
WATCH: Raw interview with Andrea Betancourt
"For somebody to keep hitting somebody until their head is cracked, until their head is fractured you have to keep hitting somebody you have to want to hurt somebody. So we were just relieved that nobody was like trying to hurt him or at worst kill him," she said.
Andrea said she doesn't think her brother was embarrassed the the video shows him hitting a wall.
"Honestly I think he felt relieved too that it wasn't someone hitting him," she said. "He was starting to want to lock the doors and he was like you never know what's going to happen so he was more confused too because they convinced him that he got assaulted. He doesn't remember anything so for the whole storyline to change and in his mind everything changed."
She said their father showed Rene the video and he said he remembers being at the location, but doesn't remember what happened. He said he didn't remember jumping back on his skateboard after the fall. She said her brother was convinced he had been assaulted after assumptions were made by their family.
"His eyes are all messed up, it looks like somebody punched him," Andrea said. "And then you saw a line here which now, judging by the way he hit it, it was the wall and here you saw a line and they were like, well, it's as though somebody was hitting him with some kind of baton or something."
Reyes said the case is not closed yet and that investigators have not ruled anything out.
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