Roger Hernandez Perera of Miami was arrested on Key Biscayne for resisting arrest without violence – a misdemeanor – after he was stopped Tuesday, February 20, 2024, for a motorized scooter violation. (Photo/Miami-Dade Police Department)
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Key Biscayne police arrested a 24-year-old man who lives off the island after he allegedly refused to cooperate when told he would be written a citation for riding an electric scooter on the sidewalk on Crandon Boulevard.

The arrest of Roger Hernandez Perera of Miami for resisting arrest without violence – a misdemeanor – came after a scooter stop at the Mobil gas station on Crandon Boulevard and Harbor Drive. The stop may indicate a new front in Key Biscayne’s  crackdown on micromobility devices.

Certainly, those who don’t live on the island need to beware. Florida law makes the operation of any motorized vehicle on a sidewalk unlawful , be it scooter, e-bike or golf cart. Those devices must be powered by foot when traveling on the sidewalk or a bike path. The state law, however,  has rarely been enforced. 

The arrest came after Key Biscayne Village Council on Friday enacted an emergency 60-day ban on all micromobility devices on island surface streets. The ban came  after an e-bike operated by a 12-year-old collided with a normal bike resulting in the death of 66-year-old resident Megan Andrews. 

Before the ban, young children  could be seen using motorized scooters and e-bike – not on the sidewalk or bike path,, but on the premises of the Mobile gas station itself, using it as a shortcut from Harbor Drive to Crandon. Riders of all ages used  used sidewalks and bike lanes throughout the Village with impunity. 

The Village Council and Key Biscayne police were reluctant to enforce the state law – as indicated many times during Council meetings – because an unpaid  citation would affect the child’s ability to obtain a learning driver’s permit when they are 15. 

Now in the wake of a fatality, the Village is exploring whether to make the ban permanent. In Tallahassee, legislation is moving forward that would give municipalities the power to regulate the devices by age and class – but how police would enforce such restrictions remain unknown.

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When asked if now minors would also receive citations, Police Chief Frank Sousa said officers have the option if they observe a e-bike or electric scooters being powered in bike lanes or sidewalks in violation of the statute.

READ: E-bike tragedy: Key Biscayne parents propose plan to regulate – not ban – devices

The current emergency ban does not extend to Crandon Blvd., which is a Miami-Dade County road. The County is working on giving Key Biscayne the authority to also enforce the ban on the road.

Hernandez Perera did not take kindly to being stopped on his scooter on Tuesday after motoring with his scooter on the south side of Crandon Blvd.’s south side, according to the arrest report by Officer Pierre Lara.

The officer had been assigned to a detail focusing on enforcing the e-bike ban. 

Three e-scooters, a bicycle a pedestrian, and a dachshund share a croweded path on the Key Biscayne Village Green, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023. (KBI Photo/Tony Winton)

When Hernandez Perera dismounted his scooter and headed into the Mobil’s store. Lara, according to the report, asked him to step outside and provide a driver’s license. He refused, she said, and walked back into the gas station’s market.

“The defendant denied committing any traffic infractions,” Lara wrote. “Despite multiple explanation that resisting the traffic process would only exacerbate the situation, the defendant remained unyielding.”

READ: “Let me give you a hug.” Key Biscayne remembers Megan Andrews

Hernandez Perera demanded to speak to a supervisor and continued to provide identification. “Ignoring my lawful commands, the defendant reached into his pockets, to call an unknown person,” Lara said. “At this point, I attempted to take him into custody, but he resisted further.”

The extent of the additional resistanc  is not detailed in the police report. Six other officers responded to the scene.

Police drove Hernandez Perera to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center where he was booked into jail and released after paying $500 bail.

A call to Juan Mourin, the attorney representing Hernandez Perera, was not immediately returned.

In the meantime, the ban is growing to private property. On Wednesday, Key Colony – the island’s largest condo complex – adopted a ban on  e-bikes and scooters throughout the property. 

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.

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JOHN PACENTI is the executive editor of the Key Biscayne Independent. John has worked for The Associated Press, the Palm Beach Post, Daily Business Review, and WPTV-TV.