Police were investigating a stabbing on South Beach. That was bad luck for a nearby thief

Howard Cohen
·2 min read

As Miami Beach police investigated a fatal stabbing on one block, a thief acted out a couple blocks over.

That’s what officers say happened after they responded to calls about a stabbing at 2:30 a.m. Saturday in the area of Seventh Street and Collins Avenue, police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said.

According to Rodriguez, officers found a man with an apparent stab wound to his chest. The man — described by police as a Black male in his late 20s or early 30s — died on the scene. His name has not been released.

After officers attended to the victim, and as they were interviewing several possible witnesses, an armed robbery happened a few blocks away, at 10th Street and Collins Avenue, Rodriguez said.

“Thankfully, officers arrived on scene as it transpired and were able to get the subject into custody,” Rodriguez said.

What the robbery arrest report says

Police released the suspect’s name in the theft later Saturday afternoon. According to the arrest report he’s Edward Earl Smallwood, a 27-year-old car washer who lives in Miami.

Police say around 9:30 a.m. Saturday, they saw several men fighting in the street at 10th Street and Collins. One of them — Smallwood, police say — ran off while the others stayed behind.

A witness told police that Smallwood grabbed a chain from the neck of a legally blind man and dropped a gun, the arrest affidavit said. Smallwood, police say, ran south on 10th Street and police found the gun where the men had been fighting in the street.

Police say the victim was holding his gold necklace, though it was broken, and he had a small cut on his forehead and beneath his left eye. The victim told police he was walking with his friends, is visually impaired, and felt a “hard object” at his back, which he believed to be “the barrel of a firearm.”

At the same time he felt the object at his back, he told police he felt someone grab his necklace, according to the arrest affidavit.

Miami Beach police caught Smallwood on the sidewalk of 928 Collins Avenue. Smallwood was charged with armed robbery with a deadly weapon and three other related weapons charges. Smallwood told detectives he denied the robbery allegation but said he was on South Beach to exercise and had touched the victim in the back area because he believed he “was intoxicated,” the arrest report said.

‘It’s South Beach’

Asked why he felt the victim was “intoxicated,” police say Smallwood told them: “It’s South Beach and his friend was assisting him by placing his arm around his shoulder.”

Rodriguez said the two incidents — the earlier fatal stabbing and the incident involving the arrest of Smallwood hours later — are not related.

Detectives are still investigating the stabbing and ask that if anyone has information they should call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-8477.