‘They were angels’: South Beach victim grateful for good Samaritans

A woman was walking home from work on Saturday night in South Beach when a man touched the back of her thighs from behind.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A woman was walking home from work on Saturday night in South Beach when a man touched the back of her thighs from behind.

She said she was on the sidewalk south of Lincoln Road when he crouched near her waist. The man showed her a knife and said, “Shh! Come with me!” before pulling her arms, according to a police report.

She fought back, screamed and pulled her body toward the middle of 16th Street, between Lenox and Michigan avenues. Sharoline Ramos and Mercedes Costagliola couldn’t miss her.

“They were angels,” the victim said in Spanish about Ramos and Costagliola.

Costagliola was driving. She stopped her car, flashed her lights, and honked her horn. The attacker, officers later identified as Joel Blackwood, let go and ran away.

Officers arrested Joel Blackwood, 28, of Lauderdale Lakes, on Sunday in Miami Beach. (MDCR)

Officers arrested Blackwood, 28, of Lauderdale Lakes, on Sunday. Records show he has a pending violation of probation over a battery case and previous arrests for sexual battery and theft in Broward County.

Corrections officers have been holding him without bond at the Metrowest Detention Center in Doral. He is facing charges of kidnapping, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, battery, and resisting an officer without violence.


About the Authors:

Annaliese Garcia joined Local 10 News in January 2020. Born and raised in Miami, she graduated from the University of Miami, where she studied broadcast journalism. She began her career at Univision. Before arriving at Local 10, she was with NBC2 (WBBH-TV) covering Southwest Florida. She's glad to be back in Miami!

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.