Miami Graffiti Artist Struck by Police Car

Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez sustained a brain injury after he was hit by a police car Photo: Miami Herald

Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez sustained a brain injury after he was hit by a police car
Photo: Miami Herald

A 21-year-old graffiti artist is fighting for his life after he was hit by a police car, NBC 6 has reported.

Delbert Rodriguez Gutierrez, known as ‘Demz,’ ran from police after he was caught painting on a privately owned building in Miami’s Wynwood district in the early hours of Sunday morning.

According to police, Gutierrez was hit by Detective Michael Cadavid’s unmarked car after he suddenly emerged from between two parked vehicles during the chase.

Several members of Miami’s graffiti subculture reacted angrily to the news. Neo, a friend of Gutierrez’s, told NBC 6, “He shouldn’t be in the hospital with a brain injury right now. He should be out here doing graffiti with me.”

In a TV interview, Rick Cruz added, “He was a real nice kid, he always looked very respectful, and he was just inspired into the art form.”

For many street artists, the risk associated with the graffiti is part of the thrill. While many artists seek permission to paint on buildings, according to artist Jasmine Dearden, “In the community you get more respect if you do illegal.”

Officer Javier Ortiz from the Fraternal Order of Police said, “It’s a tragedy what occurred. “If he would have just stopped, he would have never put himself in this position…He’s fighting for his life, we’re praying for him, and we hope that he pulls through.”

Rodriguez’s mother took to Instagram, writing, “Thank you for your support. Delbert is my son. Unfortunately, God is calling him home, too soon. Please keep him in your prayers. This shouldn’t have happened. Please honor his memory.”

According to the website of the New Times Broward-Palm Beach on Friday, “The police department also says it plans to investigate. While Cadavid’s car does not have a video camera, it does have a black box, which police say will be examined.”


[Featured image courtesy New Times Broward-Palm Beach]

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