Guy Who Runs Backward Around South Beach Cited for Jogging Through Traffic

Categories: WTF Florida
via YouTube
Alex Mesa, running backward as usual.
If you live in South Beach, chances are you've seen Alex Mesa. He's the 44-year-old, neon-clad Colombian guy whose passion is jogging backward. Mesa runs all over SoBe the wrong direction, drawing honks, stares, and -- today at least -- a 911 call and a citation from police.

Mesa complains that police ticketed him simply because they didn't like his unique running style, but a police spokesman says the problem was that Mesa was dodging dangerously through traffic. "No, there's no citation for running backward," Sgt. Bobby Hernandez, a Miami Beach police spokesman, tells Riptide.

That's not the story Mesa tells NBC6. The wrong-way jogger says he was harassed by four cops simply for doing the same thing he's done around SoBe for six years.

"Four police officers for someone who's jogging backward? Someone who is doing the right thing? That's uncalled for," Mesa tells the station. "That's a waste of manpower."

Mesa has become enough of a local semicelebrity to earn a Sun Post profile in January, in which he revealed he is HIV positive and battling a number of health conditions. He tells the paper he runs backward two or three times a week all over South Beach.

Today, though, someone called police after seeing Mesa jogging near James Avenue and 17th Street.

Hernandez says the jogger was darting through traffic: "Vehicles were braking not to hit him."

Police offered to educate Mesa about pedestrian rules, but the jogger declined, Hernandez says. "He told them: 'I've always done it like this, and I'm going to keep doing it like this,'" he says.

That's when police issued the citation. The runner tells NBC6, though, that he wasn't interfering with traffic. "I'm not doing anything different from somebody rollerskating, skateboarding, riding bicycles in the middle of the street," he tells the station.

Here's Mesa in action:



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13 comments
Kzm Ufc
Kzm Ufc

If that is Ocean drive, he might have been speeding. LOL

David Pitch
David Pitch

Meanwhile the guy who rides his bicycle drunk daily up and down Ocean Drive and almost dares cars to hit him never gets stopped. If you notice him you will also see that he has a different bike every other week, keeps his alcohol in his boot. Male hispanic about 60 I've seen him do this for YEARS, yet nothing. Even clled 911 when he fell off his bike 3 times because he was so drunk

Kenn Mathews
Kenn Mathews

Whatch the video. He got what he deserves. Get the f*ck out of the street.

Jimbo99
Jimbo99

The video pretty much sums it up, is it really necessary ? He should be doing that over by the wall in the park where it's safer, but I'm almost certain he'd create an issue for other pedestrians, cyclists and whoever else he could try to be an attention whore for ? Maybe he could backpedal on the beach and not be a nuisance or hazard to himself & others ? Properly reported, properly cited. Let me guess, the news picks this up, a lawyer has to defense it when it goes to court, but this is the type of fellow that's living out his HIV positive life. What happens when he gets hit or stumbles and blood in involved, an unnecessary exposure to HIV ?

Patrick Garcia
Patrick Garcia

As a pedestrian he has to remain on the sidewalk. People always fall for sensationalist bullshit much like this article.

RAMON24
RAMON24

In the video he's blocking traffic, I'm sure he was when they cited him as well. He deserved citation, it's dangerous enough when people run on the street but doing it backwards is asking to get run over in a city where it seems most people got their licenses at the flea market. He should stick to the sidewalk. I agree with his waste of manpower statement, cops can be and usually are douches given the chance to be.

krisbahamondes
krisbahamondes

He should just run on the beach, boardwalk, sidewalks or at least the side of the road like anyone else. He seriously runs in the complete middle of the street. It really is a hazard to him and the people driving.

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

miami beach cops are fucking stupid...just let the guy fucking jog

Kathleen M Serafin
Kathleen M Serafin

Why isn't he on the sidewalk? He also can run on the boardwalk, plenty of places to run without causing traffic issues. He's in the middle of the road in the video!

Em Azin
Em Azin

i've seen him and he NEVER causes traffic. hell, he "jogs" faster than the cars move! lol. let the man be! and damn, i didn't know he was positive for HIV. i give him that much more respect now. let the man jog so he can stay active AND fit! cops obviously had nothing better to do...

HarryTheHandyman
HarryTheHandyman

@Donnie Donnie Right?  They often give me shit for driving on the sidewalk.  What the hell guys!

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