Alex Mesa works out by running backwards in Miami Beach.
For six years, it hasn’t been a problem. Then on April 6, someone called 911 about the unusual way Mesa was exercising down an Miami Beach avenue, and police responded.
“Four police officers for someone who’s jogging backwards? Someone who is doing the right thing? That’s uncalled for,” Mesa said. “That’s a waste of manpower.”
Mesa was cited for obstructing traffic.
“I’m not doing anything different from somebody rollerskating, skateboarding, riding bicycles in the middle of the street,” he said.
Mesa said he has seen people do it all the time, traveling against traffic and even cutting straight across it, but he is not guilty of obstructing traffic. Miami Beach Police disagree.
“He was jogging in between cars,” Robert Hernandez with the Miami Beach Police Department said. “A concerned citizen called 911. Officers were dispatched to that area. They observed this behavior and advised them that he couldn’t do it. He said he’s always done it and will do it again.”
Mesa thinks he was singled out and ticketed after police found out about a past drug charge. But police said he was cited because he refused to stop running backwards in the street.
Tourists posted video of him jogging backwards in the street on YouTube.
Mesa has overcome a stay in hospice, and he said he has been HIV positive for 20 years. He added that he wants to be recognized for his backwards jogging and wants it be recognized as sport.
Even though police say he shouldn’t don’t do it in the middle of the road, he’s says this ticket won’t stop him.