By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
By Ryan Yousefi
By Kyle Swenson
Welcome, damas and caballeros, to Miami New Times's first annual Bad Seed Awards ceremony here at the gleaming new though still incomplete $446 million downtown performing arts center.
Among our fine crop of contestants are the sons and daughters of Miami's most notable people. In fact all the top politicians in this subtropical parent trap have sired kids who've recently been accused of crimes including many felonies. Both Miami-Dade and City of Miami mayors have offspring among the finalists. The superintendent of schools, the county's top prosecutor, and the Florida governor, a long-time area resident, have two each. Then there's the miscreant child of Miami's police chief.
Our contestants' achievements are impressive, even by CSI: Miamistandards. There's everything from rape to drug dealing to just the same old, same old beating a guy bloody and breaking his bones at CocoWalk. When our show concludes, one will be named Mr. or Miss Bad Seed of 2006. The grand prizes are ... well, you'll have to wait for that.
So without further ado, I'll turn the show over to our hosts, Shaquille O'Neal, who may be the biggest kid in existence, and David Lawrence, Jr., former Miami Herald publisher and this town's lead advocate for young'uns.
Shaq walks out on the half-finished stage in a luminescent lime green suit. He's followed by Dave, who's smiling and wearing the very same blue jacket and gray slacks he's sported for the past decade. They appear to be glued to his body, just like his smile.
Dave: Well, Shaquille, this is a special event. I'm so proud....
Shaq:Me too, Dave. I love kids, and anything we can do to promote their relationship with police.... (The band strikes up the first few notes of "There She Is, Miss America" ... on blues guitar. Then the amplifier explodes.)
Dave:Our first finalist this year is a handsome youngster with a lot of money on his hands. Or, um, he used to have a lot of cash, anyway. Sean Timoney, son of Miami's number one copper, John Timoney, was caught on tape in a Rockland County, New York hotel room.
A giant screen unfurls behind the pair, but snags halfway down. O'Neal reaches up, gives it a tug, and it comes rolling down. A projector then shows a grainy film of two men sitting on a couple of beds, looking anxious.
Shaq:The video you're seeing, folks, was shot by a hidden police camera November 1, 2005. That guy on your right is young Mr. Timoney, and the other, cheesy-looking dude is actually an undercover DEA agent posing as a drug dealer. That gym bag our finalist is offering up has $455,000 inside. Sonny-boy planned to score 400 pounds that's right, 400 pounds of marijuana.
(Some jeering from the audience, where a twentysomething has ignited a spliff.)
Dave: That was only partial payment, Shaq. He planned to fork over even more.
Shaq: True, Dave. And this contestant pleaded guilty this past December 21. I just love it when these guys make it easy for law enforcement.
Dave:Our next Bad Seed has money on his rap sheet too, Shaq. And Bobby Diaz, son of Miami's mayor, gets points for starting young. Back in 2003, while a peach-fuzzed sixteen-year-old student at Flanagan High in Pembroke Pines, Bobby and a buddy allegedly tried to pawn off three counterfeit ten-dollar bills for 30 singles. There's no public record of the incident anymore, so it's difficult to say what happened afterward. But we just had to bring it up. It's so, well, clever.
Shaq:Funny thing about it is that Bobby wasn't even suspended from his classes. That's good. The boy needs some educatin'. Speaking of which, the following contestants are sons of Miami-Dade superintendent of schools Rudy Crew. Ryan and Russell Crew were charged in December 2004 with pounding a 31-year-old guy named Patrick Dorneval after bumping into him on a dance floor. Dorneval claimed the boys (28 and 26 years old at the time) beat his face to a pulp, breaking bones and detaching his retina. Both of these youngsters were charged with felony assault but received only probation. Big boy Russ, who weighed 290 at the time of the beat-down, had to pay $25,000 in restitution. I guess Daddy wasn't home for this one.
Dave:Brother teams, you gotta love 'em. Kathy Rundle, the county's top prosecutor and a real stand-up lady, has another pair, Justin and Evan Rundle.These twins like to paaa-aa-arty, just like me. Back in December 2000, just a few days after his seventeenth birthday, Evan tried to break into MAST Academy on Virginia Key with some pot in his pocket. Eight months later, Justin totaled a 1995 Mustang on Killian Parkway when he was driving home from a friend's house; his blood showed twice the legal limit of alcohol. A year later, cops snared ole Justin for having a bong and three grams of pot while boarding a plane to Santo Domingo with his mom. Finally in 2004, Evan was busted after an eighteen-year-old girl, Nadine Robertson, said he slugged her in the face and slammed her to the ground when she dumped him.
(Dave makes a slamming motion, and two floor slats on the stage snap in half, ensnaring his foot. Shaq grabs Dave by the scruff of his neck and frees him.)