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Man caught in Dania Beach was guarding pot house, police say

By Sofia Santana, Macollvie Jean-Francois

DANIA BEACH, Fla. - A Miami-Dade County police detective shot Wednesday night in South Miami-Dade County was released from the hospital Thursday, about the same time authorities swarmed a local neighborhood and arrested a suspect in the case.
Authorities found Yoel Padron Garcia, 42, at a home in the 4900 block of Southwest 28th Avenue just before 8 a.m. Thursday and charged him with three counts of attempted first-degree murder of a police officer. That's one count for each Miami-Dade narcotics detective police officials say Garcia opened fire on outside a Naranja home in South Miami-Dade, hitting Detective Edwin Diaz in the right torso and nearly wounding fellow detectives Julio Benavides Jr. and Jean Phil Chatel.
People who live in the Dania Beach neighborhood said they awoke Thursday to find Broward Sheriff's SWAT team members in black uniforms and armed with rifles scouring the area. They watched as authorities ordered five men, including Garcia, out of the home. A woman and two young children also later left the home, the neighbors said.
Patti Hetler, 46, has lived on the block for 35 years and described the scene as "very scary ... it's a real quiet neighborhood, so you know if some activity is going on."
With Garcia's arrest, the manhunt that started in Naranja about 12 hours earlier, after the shooting, ended. Local, state and federal agencies had sent help for the search.
In Naranja, the three detectives had been working a tip that a home near Southwest 272nd Street and 152nd Avenue - a few blocks west of U.S. 1, contained marijuana plants, officials said. Garcia apparently was guarding the home when he opened fire on the detectives after they identified themselves as police and tried to approach him, officers said.
After the shooting, police said they obtained a search warrant for the property and found 129 marijuana plants growing in a hydroponics set-up inside.
Miami-Dade detectives were still interviewing several other people Thursday night and might make additional arrests in the case, said Detective Roy Rutland, a Miami-Dade police spokesman.
Police also charged Garcia with one count each of armed trafficking and grand theft.
Staff Writer Rafael Olmeda contributed to this story.

Wire Service
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