British Tourists Shot in Robbery Attempt While Lost In Miami
MIAMI (AP) _ A vacationing British couple got lost in a high-crime neighborhood and were shot when they asked directions from men who tried to rob them instead, police said.
Rose Hayward, 59, was in serious condition early today at Jackson Memorial Hospital with a gunshot wound to the chest after the Thursday morning shooting, hospital administrator Sam Cratis said. Her 63-year-old husband, John, was in good condition with a shoulder wound, Cratis said.
Hotel and tourism officials, worried about Miami’s image, are offering a $10,000 reward for the capture of the assailants. They also arranged to fly the couple’s family from England and put them up at a hotel.
The Haywards arrived Thursday morning at Miami International Airport, rented a car and then became lost in the northwest section of the city. They sought help from the occupants of a car carrying two or three men, said Metro- Dade Detective George Reyes.
″One of the guys got out of the car and demanded that the victims get out of their car,″ Reyes said. When the Haywards refused to get out of the car or hand over their money, shots were fired into their car and the men fled without taking anything, he said.
Reyes described the place where the couple was shot as a high-crime area.
The couple is from Great Bourton in central England, family members said.
″I think John would have put up some resistance,″ said his brother, Dennis Hayward, from his home in England. ″We’re like that. We don’t like having our liberties interfered with.″
He said he, another brother and two of the couple’s three children were preparing to take the city up on its offer to come to Miami.
″It puts out a clear message that Miami is not insensitive about this and we’re desperately trying to do something to prevent this from happening again,″ said Kent Jurney, chairman of the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce’s crime prevention committee. Florida in recent years has become an increasingly popular destination for European tourists.
Jurney said a new safety brochure for tourists would be distributed to hotels and car agencies next month.