Photo – 7News Miami
Police descended upon a superyacht on the Miami River from land and sea when the crew was held hostage by charter guests demanding a refund.
The Miami Police Department was involved in a brief hostage situation on Sunday night on the Miami River.
The alleged armed robbery and hostage standoff took place onboard a yacht near Southwest North River Drive and Second Street, which sits near The Wharf Miami.
Local news station 7News Miami reported that an altercation took place between a group of charter guests and the boat’s captain just after 10 p.m. on Sunday night.
A crew member aboard the boat was able to alert authorities who responded with multiple cars as well as approximately six police boats to box the yacht in the harbour and prevent it from leaving.
After a brief standoff, police were able to board the boat and take several suspects into custody. Police found two guns on board but said they do not believe they were involved in the incident.
7News said the owner of the boat claimed there were between 13 and 18 chartered guests onboard at the time. The charter guests paid for the service, but when it came time to return the boat to its dock, they held the captain of the boat hostage and demanded a refund.
The captain told police that one man held him at gunpoint and threatened to kill him. The suspect also reportedly removed the captain’s wallet from his pocket with approximately $3,500 USD and his cell phone, before threatening another crew member.
Witness Terence Quek told 7News what he saw:
“People are just raising their hands up, so we were kind of wondering what’s going on,” he said. “We didn’t think it was anything big until, like, there’s cop cars coming from the other side as well, so it was kind of like an ambush from both sides, and that’s when we got rushed out, we saw police holding guns, rushing in. It’s a crazy scene, I’m not going to lie, yeah.”
According to a police report, American rapper Quavo was onboard the yacht when the altercation took place. Quavo, real name Quavious Marshall, is best known for being a member of the Georgia southern rap group Migos .
The 7News crew captured footage of Quavo being detained during the incident, although shortly afterwards several people were seen leaving the area in black SUVs.
According to the police report, the event may have stemmed from a disagreement about the rental boat hours. Police are still investigating, although they claimed charges are unlikely due to conflicting statements between crew members.
The Wharf Miami was not involved in the incident but was simply the location where the boat returned to dock.