Another Miami resident has come forward accusing private security firm 50 State Security of unprovoked assault.
The victim is Michael Valencia. Valencia first reported his story to Photography is not a Crime (PNAC).
50 State Security is a private organization contracted by the City of Miami to provide security at many city locations. Valencia’s encounter with 50 State started on Thursday night as he and friend Cole Nichols were entering a train station in Miami.
Valencia tried to pay for both his and Nichols' train fare using his traveler's card. Valencia says the card had $20 on it at the time of the incident. Valencia first used the card to pay for Nichols. As he went to swipe the card a second time for himself, the gates locked. The guards suspected Valencia was trying to sneak through the turnstile.
“Hey f-----, we see what you’re doing, go get your ass another ticket,” Valencia recalls the guard saying.
Valencia went back and bought himself a ticket. As he and Nichols re-entered the station and walked to the platform, they discussed how rude the guard had been. The guard confronted the men.
“He comes after us with a brisk face and says, ‘If you want to say s---, say it to my face,’” Valencia said. “I was like, ‘I’m not really here to start problems.’”
Valencia says the guard then threw them out of the station.
The two men walked up the road to a nearby station. The same guard allegedly met them at the next station.
Valencia says the guard confronted them and said “I told you guys to stay off the f------ rail.”
The guard then pulled out his handcuffs and started wrestling Valencia. Nichols recounted to PNAC what he witnessed.
“He slammed Mike’s head into a trashcan,” Nichols said. “He reached back and started punching him in the face.”
Nichols shoved the guard off Valencia and the two started running. The guard pulled a gun on the men and said he would shoot if they didn’t stop running. Valencia stopped, but Nichols kept running. He saw another guard at the bottom of the stairs and pleaded with him for help. Rather than help, the guard moved in to detain him. Nichols started running again and didn’t stop until he reached his home.
Valencia, meanwhile, was detained by the original security guard. Valencia claims the guard punched and kicked him repeatedly long after he surrendered himself. He suffered multiple broken teeth and a black eye from the incident.
“I was screaming hysterically, yelling that he beat me, asking someone to please help me,” Valencia recalled.
Paramedics arrived at the scene shortly after Valencia was detained. When he told them what had happened, a medic allegedly said, “I don’t f------ care,” and treated the guard instead.
No charges were filed against Valencia. A Miami-Dade police officer drove Valencia away from the scene to a nearby location where Valencia’s father picked him up.
His father, a former Cuban refugee, couldn’t believe the way his son had been treated.
“He was very nervous, almost in shock,” the father said. “This is what I saw in Cuba when I left in 1969. It’s not supposed to happen in this country.”
50 State Security has had a number of lawsuits filed against it in recent months. In April, the company was in the news after a security officer forcibly dragged an 82-year-old woman off of a train because she was singing gospel songs.