By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
So you didn't smash the window of the jewelry store and make off with the sapphire and ruby necklace. The fracas that had your neighbors standing in their yards and peeping out windows after you drank three quarts of beer, fought with your husband, threw his clothes on the front lawn and set them on fire, and then plowed them under with the Hummer for good measure was just a misunderstanding. And even though there are only about five guys in all of Hialeah with red muttonchop sideburns, a tattoo that reads "2 Live Crew 4 Ever" on the left bicep, and a "Nader 2004" T-shirt, the dude on the convenience store surveillance tape isn't you.
Don't worry, you'll have your day in court and eventually your reputation and rap sheet will be restored to their former unblemished state. Or maybe you'll end up in Raiford. The end of the story doesn't matter here. What does is that, guilty or innocent, once you're arrested and processed "into the system," your mug shot and arrest report become, now and forever, part of the public record.
In fact most people who are arrested are released within hours of being booked into the jail. Many are bailed out by a friend or family member or through the services of bond agents. Others are detained long enough to face a courtroom arraignment. At these appearances, a high percentage of charges are simply dismissed, and the detained walk away with nothing more than a harrowing memory.
What New Times set out to do here is simply to present, with minimal sociological analysis, some data about a single night of bookings at Miami-Dade County Jail. The night we chose was this past July 31, which was a Saturday night as well as the night of a full moon -- a blue moon, the second full moon of the month and an infrequent astronomical occurrence. Out of 265 arrests countywide, 130 are represented here.
So are certain days of the week or month more hectic for law enforcement and emergency response workers? It depends whom you ask.
Lt. William Schwartz, spokesman for the Miami Police Department, said that the city does not track crime statistics by the cycle of the moon. Nor does the department track whether more crimes are committed on a weekend than on a weekday, he added.
"People have this romantic notion that all sorts of witches, goblins, and crazies come out during a full moon," Schwartz said. "But I have never seen a study that verifies that. It's just an old wives' tale."
Miami-Dade County police spokesman Pete Williams cackled when asked if his department studies whether more people commit crimes under the glow of the full moon. "Actually, I've read reports that people commit less crime under a full moon," said Williams. "But we don't track crime that way."
Some weirdness, though, does seem to increase during such periods.
A recently released University of Washington study of police and emergency room statistics nationwide showed there were more aggravated assaults when the moon was full.
The study also monitored emergency room calls during a one-year period and found they surged when the Earth's orbiting tagalong was large in the sky (though the most suicide calls were during the new moon).
The study further stated there were significantly more instances of people being bitten by animals (of all kinds, not just werewolves) when the moon was full, including, during the course of the study, 1621 bites from cats, rats, horses, and, yes, canines.
So it's more likely that decompression from stressful, crappy jobs, access to alcohol and other substances, and friction with those annoying family members less escapable on the weekend lead to hockey-player-like aggression in Miami-Dade's citizenry on Saturday nights, which, typically, do see more than 100 bookings at the jail.
Like wearing clean underpants, it's important to remember to be ready for your closeup whenever you leave the house, because your mug shot opportunity could crop up at any time. And if you live in Miami long enough, it probably will.
Harold Kenneth Gilbert, Miami
DOB: June 15, 1981
Charge: Outstanding bench warrant for driving without a valid license
Jesus A. Rodriguez, Miami
DOB: January 24, 1980
Charge: Driving under the influence
DOB: July 21, 1978
Charges: Disorderly intoxication and resisting officer without violence
Sedrick L. Sanders, North Miami
DOB: September 16, 1972
Charge: Outstanding bench warrant for domestic violence
Emory Ray Burgess, Miami
DOB: September 9, 1952
Charge: Petty larceny
David Rueda, Miami
DOB: September 8, 1983
Charge: Cocaine possession
Jonathan Castro Galvez, Miami
DOB: April 15, 1983
Charges: Battery on a police officer/firefighter, resisting officer without violence, and trespassing after warning
DOB: November 2, 1985
Charge: Marijuana possession
Pierre Armand Parent, North Miami Beach
DOB: January 25, 1975
Charges: Driving with a suspended license and attempting to flee/elude a police officer
Pablo Anaya, Miami
DOB: June 28, 1965
Charges: Dealing in stolen property, grand theft, and illegal transportation of motor fuel
Perry Lee Campbell, Homestead
DOB: May 9, 1973
Charges: Aggravated assault, attempting to flee/elude an officer, driving with a suspended license, resisting officer without violence
Roberto Cazares, Homestead
DOB: July 6, 1983
Charge: Aggravated battery
Jorge Hernandez, Miami