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The Strange Death of Alexandre Nicolas

On Saturday, January 25, 2014 Sunny Isles Police pulled 20 year old Alexandre Nicolas over in a stop that resulted in his death. According to the Miami Herald, via police statement, the young Nicolas fled police custody, while in handcuffs, and attempted an escape in a nearby canal. He drowned in that canal.

The Herald Article claims the detainment resulted from some kind of police scanner alerting Sunny Isles Police of a stolen vehicle. An article in WSVN posted one week after the incident, reporting on a memorial held for Nicolas, states his family retained a lawyer to inquire in to the incident. (that article was most recently updated in March)

Aside from these two articles I am unable to find any other original content about the incident.  Vagueness plagues these two reports. Different circumstances elicit less interest, but this tale of a popular and friendly man dying understand strange circumstances raises both eyebrows.
One line from the Herald report stands out particularly for it contradicting or not fitting in with the over-all narrative promulgated by police and the media:

After Nicolas pulled over in the parking lot of Area Code 55 at 16375 Biscayne Blvd., police subsequently identified the vehicle as being stolen from Miami Beach. At that point, Nicolas was ordered out of the car and handcuffed. He ran and drowned.
Notice how in this version of things the stolen car doesn't come up until after Nicolas is stopped over a mile away from Sunny Isles.

Further details may render this a mundane situation, really, but until then questions remain. I have E-mailed the Sunny Isles Clerk with some of these questions in hopes of at least clarifying the situation, and publishing this clarification here so that perhaps the last internet word about Alexandre Nicolas includes more than mild speculation and non-binding police statements.

  • What kind of scan/inquiry alerted police to the stolen car? Did police respond to an automated alert technique, or a manually initiated search result?
  • Why wasn't Nicolas pulled over sooner? reports indicate he stopped more than a mile away from Sunny Isles. The westward stretch of 163 street from Sunny Isles to Biscayne Blvd boasts more than enough parking lot space for a police stop.
  • Was the vehicle/license plate in question actually stolen? Note that media reports do not claim the vehicle or the platers were stolen, but only that the plate was identified as stolen. There can be a difference.
  • Was Alexandre Nicolas alone? Were there any witnesses?
  • What exactly happened? At what time did Nicolas jump in to the canal? Did anyone attempt to go in after him? At what time? How long did he spend in/under the water before removal?
Perhaps other important questions do not appear above. If you have questions or information which could clarify the situation feel free to contact me.


  1. I'm going through twitter to see if i can find more:

  2. Prem, you asked good questions. I hope you get answers. What I personally learned from speaking with several NMB officers who witnessed the incident (even though they did not handle this case, but the incident occurred in our jurisdiction), was that when the man fell in, the officer who was chasing him jumped in immediately to save him. Unfortunately, the subject was flailing and pulling the officer down with him, so the officer had to let go in order not to drown as well. One officer I spoke with was quite upset by it because the officer who tried to save the man's life almost died trying. I don't know if any of this is in the official report, but several different people I spoke with told me the same thing.

    Unfortunately, I have no idea what led up to this unfortunate event other than what was published in the media.


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