Police identify taxi driver killed in robbery caught on camera

Violent robbery, crash were caught on camera

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor

MIAMI - Miami police identified a taxi driver who was killed early Friday in a violent robbery that was caught on camera in the city's Little Haiti neighborhood.

Officer Michael Vega, a spokesman for the Miami Police Department, said 64-year-old Joel Francois Bertresse was attacked and robbed around 6 a.m. near the Publix Super Market at Baypoint in the 4800 block of Biscayne Boulevard. After the attack, Bertresse's taxi crashed into a palm tree.

Paramedics rushed Bertresse to Jackson Memorial Hospital's Ryder Trauma Center, where he died.

Police have not said how Bertresse was killed, but Local 10 News video showed a knife that was bent lying next to some broken glass in the driver's seat.

A cellphone video obtained by Local 10 News shows the robbery as it happened. In the video, the taxi -- with the driver's-side door open -- speeds onto Biscayne Boulevard, narrowly missing a wall to a gated community. A man hanging from the driver's side of car is dragged along the road, and a loud popping sound can be heard before the car hops a curb and crashes into the tree.

The person who recorded the video believes that Bertresse's attacker was inside the taxi when the video was shot. A person flees the scene in the video.

Anyone with further information about the case is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS.

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