Road-rage incident broken up by Miami-Dade police

Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez among officers who helped

By Janine Stanwood - Anchor/Reporter, Andrew Perez - Reporter

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. - Cellphone video sent by a Local 10 News viewer shows two men fighting in southwest Miami-Dade County in an apparent case of road rage, with Miami-Dade police officers rushing to the scene to break it up.

But one man in uniform seen in the video isn't a street cop. He's the top cop: Miami-Dade Police Director Juan Perez.

"No matter what level of command you have, you're still an officer deep inside," Detective Alvaro Zabaleta said.

The video shows Perez laser-focused on the dueling duo, grabbing the shirt of one man with one hand and guiding him to the ground.

Two women seen in the video were identified as a sergeant and an officer in plain clothes, who also helped de-escalate the situation.

According to the police report, the incident unfolded Thursday afternoon on Southwest 184th Street near Southwest 108th Avenue.

The suspect, identified as Johnny Tran, told officers he was cut off, so he "threw a milk bottle at the victim's face."

Police say Johnny Tran threw a milk bottle in the face of a driver who cut him off and then punched him repeatedly.

He then "began to punch the victim repeatedly with a closed fist," according to the report.

The video picks up with the victim fighting back, according to police.

Perez was in the area for the viewing of Officer Jermaine Brown, who was killed in an ATV crash last week.

When Perez saw the incident, the 28-year veteran of the department ran in to calm down what could have been a more violent situation.

"The director's sentiments are, and he's told us, that as long as he's wearing a uniform, he's a police officer," Zabaleta said. "And the day he doesn't have to intervene, that's the day he knows he has to retire. Today wasn't that day."

Tran is facing a charge of battery.

He appeared in bond court Friday, where he was given pretrial services because he doesn't have a criminal record.

"I know traffic in Miami is horrible. I drive in Miami. Don't get into any trouble over the holidays," Miami-Dade County Judge Gisela Cardonne Ely said. 

"Yes, your honor," Tran replied. 

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