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Man already in prison charged with Bal Harbour hit-and-run that killed 14-year-old boy

People in the car with David Plazas say they begged him to stop after he hit a 14-year-old on a bicycle in Bal Harbour.
People in the car with David Plazas say they begged him to stop after he hit a 14-year-old on a bicycle in Bal Harbour.

BAL HARBOUR, Fla. – “I’m being held under allegations for multiple things so this is the third stuff that comes in under me. I’m not sure if it’s a mistake,” David Plazas told a Miami-Dade County judge on Tuesday.

But it was no mistake. The 26-year-old who was already incarcerated for other crimes is now charged with leaving the scene of a crash involving a death after he crashed a car into a 14-year-old on a bike in Bal Harbour, killing the boy, investigators said.

It happened nearly a year ago on August 22, 2020, at 6:13 p.m. when it was still daylight. Police say Plazas was behind the wheel of a 2018 Kia Optima going north at the 10200 block of Collins Avenue.

Ethan Gordon was riding his bike on a crosswalk near Harbour Way. According to investigators’ reports, the Kia struck the teen who was thrown into the air and off the bike, landing on the roadway. The victim then slid to a final rest on the sidewalk of Frontage Road, the report stated. Witnesses said the collision was so violent that the boy went airborne.

Video surveillance caught the Kia making a U-turn on Harbour Way and beginning to travel north on the outside lane of Collins Avenue, heading towards the scene of the crash. But the video then shows that as the car got closer to the scene, the driver changed lanes to the middle northbound lane and kept going.

Witnesses who stopped to help the victim saw the Kia drive by and, according to investigators, followed the car and took pictures of the license plate.

Prosecutors said Plazas kept going without rendering aid or calling for help. He did not own the car he was driving; it had been loaned to his roommate, according to investigators.

One of the passengers in the car told police that she begged Plazas to stop. Later, the witness said that Plazas said he was planning to get the Kia repaired from damage left from the crash.

Plazas is also accused of threatening one of his passengers, Luisa Fernanda Ahearn, who helped investigators identify Plazas.

Alleged crimes from separate incidents include battery by strangulation and in May of 2021, Plazas was accused of kidnapping, prosecutors said.

“The state’s position is that he’s basically a one-man crime wave,” prosecutors said. They requested that the judge hold Plazas on a $1 million bond.

On Tuesday, the judge determined that Plazas was a flight risk and a danger to the community, adding that the bond request wasn’t high enough. She set his bond at $2 million.


About the Authors:

Christian De La Rosa joined Local 10 News in April 2017 after spending time as a reporter and anchor in Atlanta, San Diego, Orlando and Panama City Beach.

Michelle F. Solomon is the podcast producer/reporter/host of Local 10's original, true crime podcast The Florida Files and a digital journalist for Local 10.com.