Women in bikinis tussle with South Beach shop owner who witnesses say tried to stop theft

A busy South Beach intersection became a makeshift boxing ring over the weekend as three bikini-clad women took on a souvenir shop owner, who witnesses say was trying to stop them from shoplifting.

The brawl was captured on surveillance cameras at the Sherbrooke Hotel, 901 Collins Ave.

A man in a red shirt can be seen running after a woman in a green bikini. She starts to run away, drops something and then falls. That’s when she gets up and starts hitting him. Another woman then joins in. Three women then run away.

Paul Thomas, who witnessed the tussle, said it started about 6:30 p.m. Sunday when he saw the girls run out of the Beach Outlet, 910 Collins Ave.

“The owner came running after them to try to stop them,” said Thomas, who lives in Miami Beach. “They acted like he was bothering them for trying to stop them.”

The fight happens in front of cars waiting at a red light.

Thomas shared his experience on the Facebook page Residents for a Safe Ocean Drive. Mitch Novick, who is part owner of the Sherbrooke Hotel and runs the page, said he dug up the footage from the hotel’s camera and wasn’t surprised by what he saw.

“Public safety has fallen to an all-time low,” said Novick who is pushing for the city to stop liquor sales for outdoor venues at 2 a.m. instead of 5 a.m. Voters are set to decide whether the times will change in a referendum Nov. 7.

As for the fight, police confirmed Wednesday that after meeting with the store’s owner, they will not open an investigation.

Store employee Mourad Chaabi told WSVN7 that the women were acting suspiciously and the owner was watching them.

“I hope those girls are going to be found, and going to be paying the price,” he told the station.