MIAMI — Miami-Dade County commissioners and law enforcement officials came together Feb. 15 to honor Mark Brown, a county solid waste employee, for his bravery in stopping a motorist who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident two weeks earlier.
Brown received a commendation from the commission which was presented to him by Commissioner Barbara Jordan during a special ceremony at the regularly-scheduled commission meeting at the Stephen P. Clark Center in downtown Miami.
A statement from the county said on Feb. 1 two pedestrians waiting at a bus stop at the corner of Northwest 79th Street and 27th Avenue were struck by a pick-up truck and the driver sped off, hitting a car.
Brown, who was driving in the area, rammed the pick-up with his own, forcing it to stop. Rolando Aliaga, who police said was driving the pick-up, was taken into custody.
Tyron Richemond, one of the two injured pedestrians, was pronounced dead shortly after being taken to Jackson Memorial Hospital. Charles Williams was admitted in serious condition.
“When I saw the news [of this incident], I said, ‘I know that guy,’” Jordan said. “Mark Brown is a long-time Miami-Dade employee. He was my district director in my office for five years.”
Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus, who attended the commendation ceremony, said Brown stayed at the scene to protect the driver until officers arrived.
“It’s an extraordinary action by someone who’s dedicated to doing the right thing,” Loftus said.
Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez, a former police director, agreed with Loftus.
“We in law enforcement are always talking about community involvement. You could double the size of the police department and you couldn’t get the results you could get [with] community involvement. What Mr. Brown did is a truly courageous thing,” Alvarez said.