KB Police make arrests in Village Green golf cart incident

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This is a developing story

Three teenagers have been arrested and charged with either grand theft or trespassing as a result of an incident at or near the VIllage Green on April 3, and more arrests are expected, according to Police Chief Charles Press.

Press, who is also currently serving as Interim Village, said investigators arrested one teen from Miami Beach, charged with grand theft, and two others charged with trespassing -- one from Coral Gables and one from Kendall.

“We had one of the impacted residents elect not to press charges, thus the trespassing (charges) and not grand theft,” Press told Islander News this morning. He added more arrests are expected “soon.”

Press said all stolen golf carts have been recovered “except two.”

While none of the arrests so far involved Key Biscayne teens, Press said that is likely to change as the investigation proceeds. “Our kids are not innocent,” he said. “Our kids do not stay on the island, they hang out with kids off the island, and then invite them to come over and cause trouble.”

According to area residents and police, at around 11 p.m. on Saturday, April 3, a large group of teens congregated on Village Green. KBPD showed up and, using a bullhorn, told them to leave.

“They started running, some into the bathrooms in the park,” said Marcela Castiglioni, who lives on Fernwood Road across from the Green. She said later that night the teens returned and started “racing and crashing” golf carts in the middle of the Village Green field.

The teens had also vandalized restrooms there, she said.

“The night was crazy,” said Castiglioni, who addressed the Key Biscayne Village Council about the incident on April 6. “I want my Key Biscayne back,” she told the council.

Press acknowledged he hears the “Where are the cops?” cries from the community but says his department has “good cops” who are committed to practicing balanced law enforcement.

“We have a group of cops who understand ‘community policing,’ ” he said.

Press also had a message for teenage troublemakers: “No more glad handing. Kids who partake in troublesome behavior will be arrested and prosecuted, which goes on your record and affects their future.”

Islander News will update this story as more details become available.