A 16-year-old boy from Florida has been arrested and is expected to be charged as an adult after allegedly pushing a homeless man in a river and letting him drown.
Police allege that in May, Rhyheim Woodard intentionally shoved a local vagrant into the Miami River. Last week, he was arrested on a single count of second-degree murder
Investigators say on May 24, the teen was fishing with a friend when they spotted a homeless man sleeping along a wall in the area of Northwest North River Drive and Third Street.
According to WSVN, the two boys began “harassing” the stranger and asking for bait. Woodard then allegedly grabbed the homeless man’s hat and threw into the river. When the man stood up, that’s when authorities say the teenager pushed him in.
Woodard is then said to have fled the scene with the man’s bag as he struggled to stay afloat. When his lifeless body washed ashore the next day, the medical examiner’s office ruled the death a homicide.
On July 7, Woodard’s companion, identified in court papers as “witness #1,” contacted police and told them about the incident, resulting in an arrest on July 15.
The defendant’s sister questions the motives of the witness, questioning why he didn’t save the victim, if he witnessed her brother’s actions.
Woodard’s father, Earnest Woodard, called his son a church-going boy who “knows right from wrong,” reported Local10. On Monday, he told judge Rhyheim that his son had previously been taking the drug Adderall used to treat ADHD. He also said the young man had some “difficulties” in school but didn’t elaborate on specifics.
Woodard is being kept at the Juvenile Detention Center pending his next court appearance scheduled for August 5, at which time it is expected that he will be formally charged as an adult with second-degree murder.