Family of elderly man attacked on Metromover suing Miami-Dade and security company

Safety measures should have been put in place after previous attacks on the Metromover train, an attorney representing the family of 73-year-old Eduardo Fernandez says.

MIAMI – Miami-Dade County and Allied Universal security failed to take action quickly enough to prevent the attack of an elderly man on a Metromover train Sunday morning, an attorney representing Eduardo Fernandez and his family says.

Fernandez, 73, suffered broken bones and internal injuries in the violent beating, which came a couple weeks after three other attacks on the Metromover.

Now, the family is planning to file a lawsuit against the county and Allied.

“The family wants to use this lawsuit as a vehicle to promote safety,” Attorney Alan Goldfarb said Wednesday. “They had an opportunity to intervene and increase security and improve what they were doing, because of the three assaults that had occurred.”

Eduardo’s son Christian says his father was on his way to work as a valet parker around 6 a.m. Sunday when he boarded the Metromover at Government Center, bound for the Omni Terminal.

Fernandez is still in the hospital.

Robert Lee Ribbs, a 62-year-old homeless man, was arrested and faces charges of strong-arm robbery, aggravated battery and battery on a person 65 or older.

Ribbs allegedly stole $30 in cash from Fernandez’s pocket and told detectives that Fernandez called him a racial slur. Police, however, said the incident was unprovoked.

Leaders in Miami-Dade County and the City of Miami have since pledged to increase patrols and security. And county Mayor Carlos Gimenez said police are working to share real-time camera footage to be able to intervene quickly in the event of any future crimes.

But Goldfarb says this all comes too late for his client.

“The camera there doesn’t prevent the beating,” Goldfarb said. “There’s no time to get a police officer involved. It’s useless.”

Miami-Dade County says it does not comment on threatened or pending litigation.

Local 10 News has also reached out to Allied for a response.

About the Author:

Liane Morejon is an Emmy-winning reporter who joined the Local 10 News family in January 2010. Born and raised in Coral Gables, Liane has a unique perspective on covering news in her own backyard.