A Fort Lauderdale personal injury attorney has been hit with an emergency suspension from the Florida Bar after, security video and witnesses say she drove her Kia into four people on a sidewalk outside The Fresh Market, according to Stuart police.
When officers stopped Beatrice Bijoux, they say she told them she meant to hit the people. She wasn’t trying to drum up business, but, rather “voices in her head had told her to kill the people,” an arrest report said.
Bijoux, who has been held without bond in Martin County Jail since the Feb. 22 incident, pleaded not guilty to one count of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, one count of high speed or wanton fleeing and four counts of attempted murder. On March 21, the state Supreme Court granted the Bar’s request of emergency suspension for Bijoux, who was admitted to the Bar in 2016.
Crashing into them wasn’t an accident, she said
Both Bijoux’s Bar address and her law firm’s website says her firm’s main office is in Fort Lauderdale, but the arrest report says she lives in Stuart.
After Stuart police answered a 12:52 p.m. 911 call from The Fresh Market at 2300 SE Ocean Blvd., the report said, one person who had been hit had been airlifted to a hospital and three people were still there. Two people who had been sitting at a table said the car hopped the curb and pushed them about three to four feet into the wall behind them.
The woman flown to the hospital said she didn’t see the car heading for her, but knew it was a black car after it hit her.
Police said the surveillance video showed a black Kia hitting people on the sidewalk at about 30 to 35 mph, then “reversing at a high rate of speed.” The driver tried to hit another person, police said, but he was able to leap to safety.
The report says a witness followed the Kia, which carried a Texas license plate. Bijoux didn’t stop for police on the street, instead driving to the Stuart Police Department and parking her car.
“When Bijoux exited the vehicle, she immediately told Sgt. Reddick that the voices in her head had told her to kill the people,” the report said.
After her arrest, the report says Bijoux said she wanted to kill other people, wanted to kill the people she hit, wanted to kill herself and even the 4-year-old niece who lives with her part time.. She claimed she was under a doctor’s care, but hadn’t spoken to her doctor since December. She’d never wanted to hurt other people before, but “could not explain why today was different.”
She asked a police lieutenant what the charges were. When told aggravated battery, the report said, “she immediately said that she cannot believe that she is only being charged with that due to the fact that she wanted to kill those people.”
Self-harm, especially to the point of taking your own life, is never a good answer to life problems. If you feel like self-harm, talk to someone. The National Suicide Prevention Hotline, 800-273-TALK (8255), is there 24 hours a day, seven days a week for people in emotional distress.