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Andrew Gillum Offers His Side of What Happened After Responders Find Him, Friend In Suspected Meth Incident

Former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum is apologizing after news of his involvement in a suspected drug overdose incident at a Miami Beach hotel early Friday morning.

Gillum, a rising political powerhouse despite his unsuccessful run for Florida governor in 2018, was one of three men present in a hotel room where police seized three baggies of suspected crystal meth, according to a Miami Beach Police Department report circulated online.

Andrew Gillum
Former Tallahassee mayor Andrew Gillum was one of three men found in a hotel room where police say baggies of illicit drugs were present. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

The embarrassing incident could prove to dull the political star, who wasted no time trying to clear his name. In a written release, Gillum confirmed he was in fact at the hotel, but denied partaking in illicit drugs.

“I was in Miami last night for a wedding celebration when first responders were called to assist one of my friends,” he explained. “While I had too much to drink, I want to be clear that I’ve never used methamphetamines. I apologize to the people of Florida for the distraction this has caused our movement.”

The police report states that officers arrived to the Mondrian South Beach just after 1 a.m. to find Gillum and two other men, one of whom fire rescue staff were treating for a possible drug overdose.

One of the other men, presumably the complainant, told authorities he arrived to the room at around 11 a.m. to find Gillum and the gentleman who had the medical emergency under the influence of an “unknown substance.” He said he also observed Gillum in the bathroom, vomiting.

Things quickly went awry and he dialed for help after the the first man, identified as a Travis Dyson, twice collapsed on the bed in a prone position moments after opening the door to let him in. The complainant tried rousing Dyson and started CPR when he realized Dyson was having difficulty breathing.

Officers were soon on the scene and tried speaking with a drunken Gillum, but were unsuccessful.

“Mr. Gillum was unable to communicate with officers due to his inebriated state,” the report states.

When fire rescue officials returned to check on the married father of three a short time later, they said he appeared to be fine and that his vitals were normal.

During their investigation, authorities stated that they observed “in plain sight” three plastic baggies of suspected narcotics on both the bed and floor of the hotel room. The bags were taken in as evidence and destroyed.

No arrests were made in the incident, and Miami Beach police officials say it is not being investigated as a criminal matter.

Then-gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum stands alongside his wife, R. Jai Gillum, as he speaks during a campaign rally at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Orlando, Florida. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
Then-gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum stands alongside his wife, R. Jai Gillum, as he speaks during a campaign rally at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades in Orlando, Florida. (Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

“Mr. Gillum left the hotel room and returned to his residence without incident,” the report reads.

In his statement, the former mayor thanked “the incredible Miami Beach EMS team for their efforts” said he’ll spend the next few weeks with family. He’s asked for privacy during this time.

Dyson, Gillum’s friend who was at the hotel that night and treated for a possible overdose, spoke to the Miami New Times since the incident and seemed confused when asked about the wedding Gillum mentioned.

“I personally wasn’t celebrating a wedding,” said Dyson, who said he has known the former mayor since last spring. “I don’t know if [Gillum] was in town for a wedding. He did not mention that.”

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