HomeNewsCrimeMan with AK-47 focus of Key Biscayne wild chase and crash

Man with AK-47 focus of Key Biscayne wild chase and crash

Miami police arrested a man with an AK-47 who came to Key Biscayne Friday to argue with a shopkeeper over his daughter, police and a witness said. The late morning confrontation at a restaurant led to a wild police chase that involved a collision with a pursuing Key Biscayne officer’s car off the island. 

Miami police identified the man as Ashanti Erwin Earp, 31. He was being held on $21,000 dollars bond on charges of aggravated battery on a law enforcement officer, attempted aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, fleeing and eluding police, and resisting arrest without violence, according to corrections records.

There were no injuries, authorities said. 

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The owner of the Pita Pockets restaurant, who spoke on condition his name not be used, said the suspect was an ex-boyfriend of his daughter, and that he came to Key Biscayne to argue with him.

Key Biscayne Sgt. Barbaro Hernandez at scene of Pita Pockets restaurant where officers recovered an AK-47 rifle connected to a domestic dispute, Friday Aug. 25, 2023 (KBI Photo/Tony Winton)


The owner called police and the man then fled — but not before a guitar case on the man’s car opened, revealing what he said was an AK-47, a type of semi-automatic rifle.

“There was no ammunition, he was just wanting to scare me,” the owner said. “His purpose here was to fight me.” 

Sousa confirmed the weapon was an AK-47 but did not have word on whether any ammunition was recovered. 

He said the suspect sideswiped the Key Biscayne officer’s car on U-S 1, forcing it into the median. The car was left inoperable but Sousa said the officer was in good shape after the crash and was expected to return to duty after a medical check. 

In this image from the Miami-Dade Corrections Department, Ashanti Erwin Earp is seen, Aug. 25, 2023. Officials charged him with multiple offenses following an argument with a Key Biscayne business owner and a cross-county chase. (Miami-Dade Corrections via KBI)

Police said the suspect later rear-ended another vehicle on NW17th Ave and 7th Street, and then crashed several times into guardrails on the on-ramp to State Road 836. 

He was apprehended after fleeing on foot shortly before noon by Miami police. 

As investigators responded to the restaurant, yellow police tape cordoned off a section of the The Arcade shopping center, briefly interrupting traffic to a few businesses. The shopping center was fully reopened by 3 p.m.

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This story has been updated with details of charges filed against the defendant.


Tony Winton is the editor-in-chief of the Key Biscayne Independent and president of Miami Fourth Estate, Inc. He worked previously at The Associated Press for three decades winning multiple Edward R. Murrow awards. He was president of the News Media Guild, a journalism union, for 10 years. Born in Chicago, he is a graduate of Columbia University. His interests are photography and technology, sailing, cooking, and science fiction.

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