3 arrested in connection with Miami Beach robbery

Victims' belongings returned after suspects arrested, police say

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – Three people were arrested after a robbery Tuesday night on South Beach, authorities said.

According to an arrest report, two people were sitting by the water when they were approached by three men.

"We were celebrating our three-year anniversary," one of the victims, who asked not to be identified, told Local 10 News.

Miami Beach police said one of the men asked the victims where Wet Willie's was located. When they said they didn't know, another man pulled out a gun and demanded the victims' property, the report said.

"He pulls up his shirt and he takes out the gun and he points it at my face," the victim said.

Police said one suspect held the victims at gunpoint while the others gathered the victims' belongings on the sand.

The armed robber told the victims not to move or he would "blow them," authorities said.

From left: Richard Pulido, 18, Gabriel Mendez, 19, and Lazaro Gonzalez, 22.
From left: Richard Pulido, 18, Gabriel Mendez, 19, and Lazaro Gonzalez, 22.

Police said the thieves then ran west toward Ocean Drive with the victims' property, including a backpack, wallet, Samsung Galaxy 6 Edge and an Invicta watch.

Authorities said a witness flagged down a security guard after he saw the men walking along Ocean Drive while carrying the gun. 

Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said the suspects were taken into custody near 11th Street and Ocean Drive. Rodriguez said the victims' property has been returned to them.

The suspects were identified as Richard Pulido, 18, Gabriel Mendez, 19, and Lazaro Gonzalez,  22. They face charges of armed robbery, improper exhibition of a firearm and possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.  

Mendez and Pulido appeared in bond court Thursday and were each ordered held in lieu of a $28,000 bond.

Gonzalez refused to appear in bond court.

Local 10 News reporter Shyann Malone spoke to Michael DeFillipi Thursday, who advocates for crime prevention and awareness on Miami Beach.

DeFillipi said he was not surprised to hear about the couple's confrontation with the crooks.

"The judges -- they keep releasing these criminals back into the public, and we've reached the point where we are just not going to tolerate it anymore," DeFillipi said. "We're going to call out these judges -- we're going to call out whoever needs to be called out, to let them know that we want these guys behind bars and no longer within our city."

Mendez and Pulido were ordered to be placed on house arrest and to stay away from the victims if they are released from jail.  

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