Police fire Taser at Cuban migrants arriving ashore

Cuban migrants came ashore on Dania Beach Saturday night.
Cuban migrants came ashore on Dania Beach Saturday night. jbrown@miamiherald.com

As 11 Cuban migrants came ashore in Dania Beach Saturday night, officers were forced to use a Taser and bean-bag guns on the migrants.

Hollywood police spokeswoman Meredith Elrich said the Coast Guard reported seeing the migrants with “machetes and large knives” and threatening to harm themselves, The Associated Press reported. An officer fired his Taser at one migrant who jumped from the boat and ran toward a large crowd on the beach, she said.

“From what I understand, when Coast Guard and FWC tried to approach the vessel offshore there were knives onboard,” Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission Officer Tyson Matthews told Miami Herald news partner CBS4. “And they were holding those weapons to their stomachs and threatening to hurt themselves, it looked like.”

The migrants, 10 men and one woman, were taken into federal custody. Six were taken to Broward Health Medical Center and five were in custody at the Dania Beach Border Patrol Station, the Sun Sentinel reported.

One migrant had a possible stab wound to the abdomen, said Capt. Greg May of Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue on Saturday.

U.S. Border Patrol spokesman Frank Miller told the Miami Herald it is “more than likely” the migrants will be allowed to stay under the U.S. wet foot, dry foot policy, but a final decision has yet to be made.