Sweet Truth

A filmmaker's exposé peeves the sugar powers.

Imperato ended up a Libertarian by default. After hiring Ross Perot's former lawyer to explore a third-party campaign last year, he flirted with the Green, Constitution, and Reform parties before landing under the Libertarian Party's big tent. But it hasn't exactly been a warm welcome; on Sunday, the party nominated former Congressman Bob Barr as its presidential candidate. Imperato got one vote.

"The Libertarians don't understand me," Imperato complains. "They get nervous when I talk about my connections to the Vatican and how the Constitution is rooted in Judeo-Christian values. But I'm thankful for the education they've given me. I now understand that the Constitution is a document rooted in the beginning of time."

Though he has no political resumé, Imperato seems genuinely surprised he's not a first-tier presidential contender. "America needs an educated man of the world like me," he says. "My name means 'emporer' in Italian. I am the descendent of Roman emperors."

Scenes from a shantytown: Amy Serrano's Sugar Babies.
Scenes from a shantytown: Amy Serrano's Sugar Babies.

Despite the purported royal bloodline and exalted titles, Imperato says he might one day consider a lowly governorship. "If someone came and asked me to serve the great state of Florida, I would consider it. I actually reached out to Jeb Bush, but he never got back to me. I have also proposed a meeting with Governor Christ," says Imperato. "I'm still waiting."


Depreciated Appreciation

P.I. gets credit for a tip — five years late.

By Francisco Alvarado

It took almost five years, but the City of Miami Police Department finally gave Joe Carrillo his due.

On September 19, 2003, "Shenandoah Rapist" Reynaldo Rapalo was captured. The serial offender, who menaced Miami's Shenandoah and Little Havana neighborhoods, had eluded identification and arrest for months. After he was apprehended, police maintained that no one outside the department — including Carrillo, a private investigator — helped them nab their suspect, in spite of the $25,000 reward that had been offered. At a press conference the night Rapalo was caught, Chief John Timoney boldly proclaimed that although the cops had received hundreds of tips, none had panned out.

That didn't sit too well with Carrillo. The investigator — who, now 52 years old, was once a bodyguard for the boy band Menudo — had arguably given police a decisive bit of information: an address on SW 11th Street near 12th Avenue. Sgt. William Golding later saw Rapalo slowly drive through that intersection in a faded black Mazda that fit the description of the vehicle cops were looking for. Golding arrested Rapalo — who in December 2005 pulled off a dramatic escape from county jail while awaiting trial, only to be recaptured shortly thereafter — a few blocks down the road.

Yet Miami Police never credited Carrillo. In May 2006, he sued the city and Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers for failing to pay him the 25-grand reward.

Earlier this year, the private eye settled with the department and Crime Stoppers for nothing more than a piece of paper. "It was never about the money," Carrillo says. "I didn't care about that." He simply wanted a little credit, he insists. Carrillo got it this past April 15, when the MPD presented him with a certificate of appreciation that reads, "In recognition of your assistance in the Shenandoah Rapist Case." It is signed by Timoney, who ignored a request for comment from Riptide.

"This certificate shows that I wasn't full of crap," Carrillo gloats. "I helped them catch this guy. And having them admit it means the world to me."

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