(Miami-Dade County, FL) --
Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan (left) lauds Mark Brown during a special commendation ceremony.
Miami-Dade County Commissioners and law enforcement officials came together on Tuesday, February 15 to honor Mark Brown, a County employee, for his bravery in stopping a driver who was involved in a fatal hit-and-run accident earlier this month. The commendation was given by Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan at the regularly-scheduled Commission meeting in Downtown Miami.
On February 1, Rolando Aliaga struck two pedestrians with his pick-up truck as the victims waited at a bus stop at NW 79th Street and 27th Avenue. Aliaga fled the scene, hitting another car as he sped away. Mark Brown, who was driving in the area, sprang into action when he noticed Aliaga fleeing and rammed Aliaga's truck with his own to stop him. Aliaga was then taken into custody. One of the victims, Tyron Richemond, was pronounced dead shortly after being transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital; Charles Williams, the second victim, was admitted in serious condition.
"When I saw the news [of this incident], I said, 'I know that guy.' Mark Brown in a long-time Miami-Dade employee," said Commissioner Jordan. "He was my district director in my office for five years. Mark is one of the true County employees who delivers excellence every day."
Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus also attended the event, stating that Brown even stayed to protect the assailant until the officers arrived at the scene, hoping to keep Aliaga out of more trouble. "It's an extraordinary action by someone who's dedicated to doing the right thing."
Mayor Carlos Alvarez, who previously served as the police department's director, agreed with Loftus. "We in law enforcement are always talking about community involvement. You could double the size of the police department and you couldn't get the results you could get without community involvement," said Mayor Alvarez. "What Mr. Brown did is a truly courageous thing."
Mark Brown currently works with the County's Solid Waste Management Department. In addition to working in Commissioner Jordan's office solving constituent issues, he has served Miami-Dade as an employee of the Community Action Agency and Miami-Dade Housing.
(L-R) Chairman Joe A. Martinez, Mayor Carlos Alvarez, Commissioner Bruno A. Barreiro, Commissioner Sally A. Heyman, Commissioner Jean Monestime, Commissioner Carlos A. Gimenez, Mark Brown, Commissioner Javier D. Souto, Vice Chairwoman Audrey M. Edmonson, Commissioner Barbara J. Jordan, Commissioner Lynda Bell, Commissioner Rebeca Sosa, Miami-Dade Police Director James Loftus, Commissioner Natacha Seijas, Commissioner Jose "Pepe" Diaz, County Manager George Burgess.
(Photo credits: Armando Rodriguez/Miami-Dade County)