Man climbs crane near FIU's main campus ahead of President Trump's visit

American flag, banner dangles from crane

By Madeleine Wright - Reporter, Amanda Batchelor - Senior Digital Editor

SWEETWATER, Fla. - A man climbed a crane Monday morning at a construction site in Sweetwater, across the street from Florida International University's main campus, authorities said. 

"This gentleman forced his way into the construction site and made his way up to the top of the crane to make some kind of a political statement or demand," Sweetwater Police Chief Placido Diaz said. 

Sky 10 was above the scene at the corner of Southwest Ninth Avenue and Eighth Street around 8:30 a.m., where an American flag and a banner dangled next to the man, who was identified by police as 62-year-old Diego Manuel Tintorero.

The banner read, "Mr. Presidente, Please have mercy for E. Arocena." The words "Cuban exile" were written at the top of the banner.

According to the Miami Herald, Eduardo Arocena was an Omega 7 leader who was arrested in 1983 and sentenced to life in prison for murdering a Cuban diplomat and planting multiple bombs in Miami and New York.

Diego Tintorero, 56, faces charges of trepassing and burglary.

Omega 7 had fewer than 20 members and was an anti-Castro Cuban group based in Florida and New York. 

President Donald Trump is expected to address the Venezuelan-American community later in the day at FIU.

Diaz said Tintorero came down from the crane via a ladder about three and a half hours later after speaking to police.

According to Diaz, Tintorero had called a Spanish radio station Monday morning to make some kind of demands.

"Thanks to the Spanish media and all of you here, they cooperatively worked with us and we were able to identify the individual by name and also identify cellphone numbers he was using associated with the incident here at hand," Diaz said. "And that helped us diffuse the situation and bring it to an end."

Tintorero faces charges of burglary, trepassing and disorderly conduct.

Tintorero is currently being held on $1,300 bond at Miami-Dade County's Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.


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