Car thief in chase that resulted in grandmother’s death arrested, Miami Beach cops say

A homeless man is in Miami-Dade Jail, accused of being the car thief in Monday night’s police chase that resulted in the death of a Miami Beach grandmother and aunt.

So far, the South Florida charges hanging over Timothy Bowers, 35, include grand theft auto, cocaine possession and resisting an officer without violence. Bowers also has a couple of warrants out of Missouri, for felony tampering with a vehicle in Kansas City County and failure to appear in Cole County.

Miami Beach Police Chief Daniel Oates’ indicated Tuesday that the car thief, once captured, might also face felony murder charges. A police SUV crashed into Ivonne Reyes’ Honda within two blocks of starting to chase a stolen BMW. They were just two blocks from Reyes’ home.

Reyes, 68, died after extrication that involved removing the hood of her car and transport to Jackson Memorial Hospital. The still-unnamed officer driving the SUV was released from Jackson after being treated for head and chest injuries.

According to Bowers’ arrest report, he was walking in front of a Subway restaurant in the 7400 block of Collins Avenue around 11 p.m. when he saw the BMW with the keys left in the ignition. He hopped in and Miami Beach city cameras caught him driving north on Collins, then east on 75th Street.

Beach police say one officer saw the BMW almost an hour later just a half mile away at 76th Street and Dickens Ave. After Bowers didn’t stop for that officer, another officer gave chase. That’s the officer whose SUV crashed into Reyes’ Honda at the intersection of 76th Street and Byron Avenue.

“The vehicle was next spotted on 86th Street and Byron Avenue and again there is an attempt to stop it. They follow the car into Surfside because it does not stop.”

After a left turn off 88th Street onto a short, dead end street, Oates said, “One officer, still in his car, approached the suspect and, at gunpoint while sitting in his car, orders the suspect to stop. The suspect rams our officer’s vehicle and turns west on 88th, approaching another dead end. Multiple officers are now responding to the situation. The suspect turns the car around to flee and rams another officer’s vehicle, disabling it.”

The car was next spotted driving along the beach walk, Oates said. Police eventually found it on the sand around 53rd Street.

Another arrest affidavit says Miami Beach robbery cops spotted Bowers sitting in a Nissan Versa parked at the Collins Hotel, 6600 Collins Ave. With the help of a “distractionary right elbow strike against the defendant’s head in order to gain control of his hands,” cops took Bowers into custody.

Richard Wallace.JPG

Richard Wallace

Miami-Dade Corrections

In the car with Bowers was 35-year-old Memphis resident Richard Wallace, who had local a local warrant out for his arrest on cocaine possession and petit theft. His new charges are possession of cocaine, Xanax possession without a prescription and marijuana possession with intent to distribute.