Miami Beach visitor describes violent purse-snatching that led to crash

The Miami Beach visitor from New Orleans was bruised in the violent robbery Tuesday night. The suspect was injured when he was hit by a police car responding to the scene, officers say.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A woman visiting from New Orleans spoke to Local 10 News about the violent purse-snatching that set off a dangerous string of events Thursday on Miami Beach.

Jennifer Burtch was walking at 22nd Street and the beachwalk around 6 p.m. when a man ripped her cross-body bag away from her. She initially tried to chase him.

“At first you are reacting to your emotions in the situation,” she said. “Maybe it’s not best to chase someone.”

Miami Beach police officers in the area tracked down a man on a bike matching the purse snatcher’s description. He has since been identified as Lajuan White.

As Officer Christopher Marin tried to detain White, another officer arriving to help unintentionally hit the two with his car, knocking them to the ground, cops say.

White was taken to Mount Sinai Medical Center where he remained on Friday, according to Miami Beach police. Marin was released from Jackson Memorial Hospital after he was treated for minor injuries.

Jennifer Burtch, visiting from New Orleans, had her cross-body purse yanked from her Thursday evening on Miami Beach.

Burtch suffered bruising to her arm, chest and neck when her purse was snatched.

“I’ve been coming here as a kid, always on the beachwalk, and never had a problem,” she said.

Burtch told police she believed there were multiple victims of that purse-snatcher.

About the Author:

Reporter Rosh Lowe has been covering news for nearly two decades in South Florida. He joined Local 10 in 2021.