Miami police injures graffiti writer during pursuit in Wynwood

21-year-old allegedly caught vandalizing property is hospitalized

MIAMI – Two weeks ago, a Vimeo user identifying himself as Delbert Rodriguez posted a video of a man using a spray can to paint bubbly letters over the wall.

Wynwood was full of men and woman Friday night, who like Rodriguez love to write with spray paint. Some were from Tokyo. Others had traveled from Los Angeles and New York.

Art Basel Miami Beach attracts contemporary art collectors who are drawn to low brow graffiti art. The 21-year-old's graffiti writer identified himself as "Demz." His Facebook said he had attended Miami-Dade College's Kendall campus.


Rodriguez was not known in the graffiti community, but he was working on making a name for himself. With the high traffic in the area, tagging his name on private property was going to get him exposure.

About  2 a.m. Friday, a Miami police officer spotted the vandal at Northwest Fifth Avenue and 24th Street, and as he ran away and jumped out from between cars Det. Michael Cadavid struck him, The Miami Herald's Charles Rabin reported.

Rescue took Rodriguez to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where he remained Saturday. Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden said a hospital employee said his family was with him. The Miami New Times reported Friday evening that he was in critical condition.

Meanwhile Local 10 News reporter Andrew Perez reported a strong police presence in the Wynwood area. Nearby, there was a group protesting unrelated cases of police officer killings of unarmed men resisting arrest.

A heavy police presence was in the Wynwood area Friday afternoon.
A heavy police presence was in the Wynwood area Friday afternoon.