Miami Seashore mayoral candidates react after Grieco’s loaded gun present in park – NBC 6 South Florida
Opponents of Miami Beach mayoral candidate Michael Grieco called him unfit for office Tuesday after his loaded handgun was found on the bench at a city park and he asked police not to investigate further.
A bag containing the gun, Grieco’s identification, $60 cash and other items was turned in to police by a woman who found it on a bench at the dog park at South Pointe Park on Aug. 13, according to a report obtained by NBC6.
Grieco told NBC6 on Monday that the bag was “snatched” by a thief he didn’t see at a time when he was not holding onto the bag.
But the bag was found with cash and valuables still inside, and was reported by Miami Beach Police as “found property” — as in lost and found.
The police have also produced no record revealing Grieco reported a crime or is listed as a victim of a crime.
NBC6’s Tony Pipitone has the latest on a loaded gun belonging to Miami Beach mayoral candidate Mike Grieco that was found on a park bench.
“He’s not a victim,” said Bill Roedy, also a candidate for mayor. Instead, Roedy surmised, Grieco simply left the bag unattended on the bench long enough for someone to find it and turn it in.
“Evidentially that’s what he did,” Roedy told NBC6 Tuesday. “He left it on the bench … You don’t leave a loaded gun in a park like this, which is the most highly trafficked park in Miami Beach with kids all around, a bullet in the chamber.”
Roedy said Grieco’s actions “disqualify him from the race. I think he should be held accountable.”
A similar take from another mayoral opponent, Miami Beach City Commissioner Michael Gongora.
“The entire situation is deeply unsettling as to how his loaded gun ended up in a bag in a park where children play,” Gongora said in a statement. “This type of careless, irresponsible behavior is yet another reason why Grieco is unfit to be mayor.”
Referring to how Grieco also asked police not to investigate further, Gongora added, “It’s concerning that instead of calling for a thorough investigation, Mike Grieco tried to sweep this under the rug.”
Grieco told NBC6 he asked police not to go further because he didn’t want to inconvenience them or himself with pursuing criminal charges.
But his opponents suggest there was no crime to investigate — just Grieco’s carelessness.
“Look, he lost control of a loaded weapon,” Roedy said. “If he can’t protect his own gun he’s not qualified to protect the public.”
Voters NBC6 spoke to at the park where the gun was found also were skeptical of Grieco’s account.
“If someone snatched it and left by foot,” Ivan Bauliege said. “You turn around and immediately identify them at least.”
Grieco said he saw no one with his bag. His political consultant told NBC6 Tuesday he will not comment further on the situation.
Miami Beach Police are not answering follow-up questions about why the potential future-mayor’s name was blocked from public records regarding the incident — keeping city voters in the dark about the actions of a man running as a public safety champion.
In an email, a Miami Beach Police spokesperson told NBC6 the incident “is currently under an internal affairs investigation; therefore, details are limited.”