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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.)
Shaq: And these young men have cost taxpayers. Mama couldn't nail her own bad seeds, so Governor Jebbie Bush had to appoint a special prosecutor in at least one case.
Dave:Shaqster, I am so happy you brought up the guv. He has a brother-and-sister team of his own. Everybody knows that Noelle, his daughter and George W.'s cute little niecey-poo, was arrested after trying to pass a Xanax prescription in 2002 then spent ten days in jail for having a crack rock in her shoe. But what you might not have gleaned is that her brother, 21-year-old John Ellis Bush, was collared this past September 16 in Austin, Texas, for public intoxication and resisting arrest. He pushed a cop who was trying to cuff him. Later Jebbie Jr. pleaded no contest to a public drunkenness charge.
Shaq:I'm not so hot on this one, Dave. Jebster II most definitely did not make it easy for law enforcement. I sure hope the judges don't give this pair the award. (Just then, a large chunk of concrete from the wall plunges onto the stage. Clearly $446 million well spent.)
Dave:We're bringing down the house, Shaq.
Shaq:Yes we are. Reminds me of the old days when this building was a Sears which brings us to the final hopeful. Carlos Alvarez, Jr., son of the former county police director and current county mayor, has an oldie but goodie. Back in 1995, when his daddy was nearing the top of the law enforcement ladder, then eighteen-year-old Carlitos pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting three women and terrorizing several more.
He threatened one young girl with a gun if she didn't show him her breasts, and exposed himself to another. Then this big fella he's 6-4 and 300 pounds pulled a knife on a twenty-year-old Rollerblader and forced her to give him a blowjob. And he tried to kidnap another girl on a bus bench at knifepoint before finally forcing two kids from Killian High and Arvida Middle ages fourteen and sixteen into his car and sexually assaulting them while holding a knife.
Dave:Yup, and all this from the son of the guy who was once the county's most important cop and is now its number one elected official. You know what young Mr. Alvarez said to the middle-schooler? "I don't want to hurt you. I just want to have fun." He sure is a fun-lover.
Shaq:He looks good too. According to his prison record, the mayor's kid is covered with tattoos. One on his stomach says, "Latin Bad Boy," and another on his left arm shows a skull man holding a meat cleaver.
Dave:Those are all of our contestants, Shaq.
Shaq:They're all worthy. And they prove that Miami-Dade has changed from the old days. It's much better now. I mean, we used to indict only the politicians. Now there's a whole new generation.
Dave:The envelope, please.
(A shapely young thing clad only in a diaper and a burglar mask walks out onstage. She hands Dave the envelope and disappears.)
Dave: Our winner is ... Carlos Alvarez, Jr. (The band again strikes up the first few notes of "There She Is, Miss America" ... before the speakers detonate.) He receives an all-expense-paid run for the Florida Senate. Campaign workers, TV ads, bribes for poll workers, the whole shebang. Congrats to young Carlos. (The crowd explodes into applause, confetti drops from the ceiling, and several stage lights plummet to the floor.)
Shaq: Hold on. HOLD ON! (Everyone's quiet.) He can't make it.
Dave: Why would that be?
Shaq: He's in year twelve of an eighteen-year sentence.
Staff writer Trevor Aaronson contributed to this report