MIAMI GARDENS, Fla. – As the Miami Gardens police chief marched shoulder to shoulder Wednesday with other county leaders, athletes, and activists against gun violence, she was carrying a heavy burden on her shoulders.
“Community needs to take the streets back,” Chief Delma Noel-Pratt told the crowd. “Just today, I could’ve lost my daughter. Today she had a gun stuck in her face.”
Just hours before the peace rally, at a Starbucks in Miami Gardens, Noel-Pratt’s daughter was hard at work, doling out orders in the drive-thru, when a customer turned irate.
That customer pulled out a gun as he sparked a feud with staff — over cream cheese.
The chief’s 23-year-old daughter was on the receiving end of the verbal and physical threats.
“Forget about the badge, forget about the title, that’s my child,” Noel-Pratt said Thursday in an exclusive interview with Local 10 News. “And I thought about, am I going to see her again? Is she OK? Of course, she was upset, she was crying, and so I had to go into mom mode.”
The man drove away as cops were called, but on Thursday morning police arrested 38-year-old Omar Wright, who is now in custody facing aggravated assault and armed robbery charges.
“It’s thanks in part to the witnesses, to the real-time crime center that we have,” Noel-Pratt said. “Because of the various cameras that they have in that system, they were able to get a partial tag.”
The arrest report says: “Mr. Wright’s demands for cream cheese, while armed with a firearm, caused a well-founded fear in the victim leading her to believe that if she didn’t give him the cream cheese, whether he pays for it or not, her life was being put at risk.”
Wright made a brief first appearance in court Friday morning and said he does not believe he should be facing that armed robbery charge. He said he just wanted some cream cheese.
Wright’s case was reset for Friday afternoon so his attorney could have more time to review the affidavit.
Noel-Pratt says she’s “just happy that he’s not going to hurt anybody else again.”
Nobody was injured in the incident.
Starbucks released a statement, saying: “We were concerned to learn about this incident that occurred on Wednesday at one of our Miami Gardens stores. The safety of our partners (employees) and customers is always our top priority, and we are grateful to learn that no one was injured.”
Local 10 News reporters Parker Branton and Christian De La Rosa contributed to this report.