For once, however, Communism's failings came in handy. Jobs were so scarce that many mothers of children with disabilities had no choice but to become tutors. Reynaldo attended a small school devoted to children like him, where mothers with hearing-impaired sons of their own taught him sign language as well as how to write and read in Spanish.

He was clever too. From the time he was 3 years old, Reynaldo would crawl under the family car and watch his dad tinker with its jury-rigged parts. Soon he was helping with repairs, his small hands covered in grease just like his father's.

By 2000, hunger in Havana had eased. But the Muñozes were as desperate as ever to leave. Idalmis had just given birth to a daughter, and as soon as she was strong enough, the family planned to escape the island.

Muñoz's body after it was pulled from the bay.
Courtesy of Miami-Dade Police Department
Muñoz's body after it was pulled from the bay.
The computer part Muñoz used to hot-wire the WaveRunner (Yasmin Davis said she mistook it for a gun).
Courtesy of Miami-Dade Police Department
The computer part Muñoz used to hot-wire the WaveRunner (Yasmin Davis said she mistook it for a gun).

The Muñozes drove two hours in the middle of the night to the beach town of Varadero, where the four of them climbed into a tiny boat with ten others and pushed out to sea. The powerful Caribbean currents turned the journey to freedom into a night from hell. For 12 hours, the lancha was battered by the ocean. One wave slammed Idalmis against the metal hull so hard it cracked a vertebra. Her husband also broke four ribs during the voyage, leaving 10-year-old Reynaldo to hold his infant sister.

When the boat finally plunged into the sand near Marathon the next morning, Idalmis could hardly move. A local fisherman rushed her to the hospital, while cops detained her husband and two children. It would be several days before the family was reunited at the Krome Detention Center, and then released at a Cuban welcome center on Calle Ocho.

Life in Florida wouldn't be easy for Reynaldo Jr. Instead of the small, specialized classes in Cuba, he now found himself one of 35 students per teacher at Palm Springs Middle School in Hialeah. He couldn't read or write English. Even worse, American Sign Language was nothing like the version he'd learned in Havana. He had to start over.

Struggling to make friends and keep up in class, Reynaldo often retreated into a silent world of spare parts. He would find broken gas barbecue grills on the side of the road, fix them, and sell them — only to buy more junk for his truck or the Wave­Runner his parents had bought him.

"From the day he was born, he was surrounded by men working on cars," his father remembers. "He could fix a car with parts that weren't even from that car. He loved to invent things like that. And they always worked."

Reynaldo Jr. was handsome and charismatic. And his uncanny ability to fix anything endeared him to others. "He would tell you when something was wrong with your car," Idalmis says. "He couldn't hear it, but he could tell just from the vibrations."

Reynaldo still had difficulty reading and writing in English, but his mechanical skills enabled him to graduate with honors from Miami Lakes Educational Center. It was the proudest moment of his life, and he happily posed for photographs in his cap and gown.

After graduation, however, the teenager found it nearly impossible to find a job. He resorted to helping his dad repair signs around town. Idalmis kept him on a close leash. "He was very dependent on us," she says. "He was never gone more than three or four hours from the house before we would call and check in on him."

"We made him dependent on us," Reynaldo Sr. says.

"I felt the need to protect him," Idalmis admits.

In the months before his death, however, Reynaldo had begun to strike out more on his own. While riding his jet ski on the weekends, he had made friends — young men with nicknames like "Mohawk" and "El Negro." He even had his first girlfriend.

"Everything seemed like it was going fine," Idalmis recalls. "But in my heart, I knew something wasn't right."


Blood dripping down his face and blossoming on his white T-shirt, Jack Davis stumbled into the kitchen. The blast had slammed the shotgun butt against his mouth and sliced open his lip. But that wasn't why he was crying. The 14-year-old, in shock, slumped against the refrigerator. Soledad Goycochea, the family's housemaid, took the gun out of his hands and held him in her arms. "Oh my God," Jack kept mumbling to himself. "I killed a person."

If Jack was just coming to grips with what had happened, his mother's mind was racing ahead to visions of her son on trial. While the first cop on the scene was busy fishing Reynaldo Muñoz's body out of the water, Yasmin Davis was already working on damage control.

"I shot him," she told her son, commandingly. "I shot him."

It was the first in a series of lies that the Davises would tell police that day, lies told to protect the family's precocious son and paint the slain intruder as a dangerous criminal. And it worked. Whether they were overwhelmed by the Davises' wealth, intimidated by the family's phalanx of lawyers, or simply incompetent, Miami-Dade Police would ignore key evidence and mishandle crucial information.

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196 comments
Selfmade1
Selfmade1

another crook dead= good thing.  we need more criminals of all crimes punished and then others will be afraid to follow in the first dead scumbag crooks footsteps....   color aside, money aside, if you are a scumbag criminal,  then the sooner you are dead the better for the rest of us who work, earn, save and buy things we want to keep.

sweetliberty17761776
sweetliberty17761776 topcommenter

You called Jack a killer which of course shows your bias against 


people who HAVE A RIGHT TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AND 


THEIR PROPERTY


FROM THOSE YOU CALL FRIENDS




STYG needs to be expanded for these situations


I am more interested in why the mom didnt know how to handle the weapon and /or why she let her son do the shooting




d.teske
d.teske

Yea, strange how this writer tried to portray the jackass who was stealing another person's property as a 'victim'. He's only a victim of his own stupidity.  He knew what was doing was wrong and, not only was he so stupid that he tried to steal the waverunner in the first place, but he was too stupid to get off when they told him to get off, they had a gun.  His death is the consequence of his own actions.

Katz
Katz

I have no sympathy for the man shot. Wouldn't have happened if he hadn't been stealing something. How many innocent people are killed in Miami daily by thugs like him trying to rob people? They are the ones I have sympathy for. If more garbage like him thought they could lose their life for their crimes there would be allot less crimes bottom line

Honest
Honest

The actual truth is that the dead young man was a member of an organized crime gang whose mission is to steal as  many wave runners, jet skis and outboard motors as they can. Perhaps change their appearance, perhaps not, but they are making an industry of this. His accomplices were named in the original story. They are the ones who should be blamed for exploiting the dead man. No one seems to care about our stolen property leaving Miami every day on the rusty freighters piled high with stolen bicycles. 

janedoe
janedoe

This is a sad story.  There was no justice for either family.  The police were protecting the elite, and the none went to jail for this horrible crime.   One day someone will have to answer to his creator. 

whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

The father said his son died over a rich kid's toy when he himself bought his own kid a WaveRunner:  "Struggling to make friends and keep up in class, Reynaldo often retreated into a silent world of spare parts. He would find broken gas barbecue grills on the side of the road, fix them, and sell them — only to buy more junk for his truck or the Wave­Runner his parents had bought him."

 I don't read this as rich vs. poor.  I read this as a family (maybe criminals or not) vs. a criminal.  Suing them for the death of their son is frivolous in my eyes.  Their son put himself in that position.  Their son chose to target that home, a home with a mother and her 14 year old son in it.  Their son chose to trespass and burglarize someone's home in an attempt to steal the WaveRunner.

You can't yell fire in a movie theatre then sue the owners when you get trampled by the people fleeing.


whateveryousay
whateveryousay topcommenter

The father stated, "My son died over some rich kid's toy." 

No, your son died because he was a burglarizing thief who got caught in the act.  He didn't think much of his own life to put himself in danger by burglarizing an occupied home.  He rolled the dice and came up snake-eyes.

Don't burglarize someone's home ever, especially while they are there.  When someone is burglarizing your home while you are there you have a right to protect yourself, family and property.  

When a criminal enters your property and is caught stealing your property you never know what the criminal will do.  The criminal already disregards the law and your safety by entering your property and stealing.  I think they were justified in shooting him.  He was caught in the act of a crime and criminals tend to lash out when caught.  It is reasonable to believe he would have turned and become an aggressor.  

cunhajo
cunhajo

...what I got from the story is simply this, don't go out to steal a wave runner to sell to one of you criminal friends, and you won't get shot. I could care less about the dead man's "sob story" about his "difficult upbringing". Do you imagine his case is unique? How many other Cubans and other immigrants and nationals have had worse upbringings and yet they are law abiding hard working citizens who don't steal other people's stuff? We need to stop making elaborate excuses for criminal behavior. This is a tear jerking piece of tripe trying to pass for journalism. The real victim here is the young boy who pulled the trigger, given only a split second to make a decision that will mar the rest of his life. And his mother, although older and should have known better, still was put in that position of having her home violated by a criminal and having to decide how to react by a person who decided his desire for a wave runner trumped their rights and safety. No, lethal force should not be used to protect property. But to prosecute this boy and his family would 1.) not bring back the dead man 2.) be any kind of justice since it would basically be punishing the victims for the consequences set in motion by an ADULT who should have now better than to commit a felony. If we want to stop the crime and violence, we need to stop condoning with fluff pieces like this that try to make a misguided criminal into a hero. Tragedy? yes. Murder? Hell no.

bigalosu1
bigalosu1

Sounds like he deserved it to me...

Socrates
Socrates

I am so sick of hearing about all these poor people coming to this country for a fresh start and then becoming criminals! If they wanted to act like animals, they should stay where they are. We don't need to be supporting them and then have them disrespect us by committing crimes. Sorry! I don't feel sorry for the thief at all!! Now this is the truth.

I come from Colorado and just blowen away with all the other country people live's and how they act here.  You left your lands for better but come here and bring all the crap that you left behind to make us True American live with it.  And what I mean A True American is one that lives with love of all side and really just wish people would just live life right. So Cuba's just start swimming back if you really think this is a bad land to live in.  Last Coastles dead or almost.  You should be safe their NOW!

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

..................................what i read here in some posts is the frustration of self-imposed justice withOUT DUE PROCESS since there is no question a crime was committed by munoz (trespassing and theft of private property) ....................BUT where is it that davis gets to decide withOUT a jury or a judge to dispense with the penalty the unappealable and final decision of CAPITAL PUNISHMENT,  a sentence of death, was THE ONLY proper reply the davises had available to them

i thing davises realized the punishment of death does NOT fit the crime committed so they went and made stuff up and danced around the law and told lies to cover their asses = period = and YES most if not all of us would have done the same thing

of course the whole episode never happens if MUNOZ stays out of that back yard BUT munoz didn't HOWEVER munoz shouldn't be DEAD for his mistake and lapse in judgement and bad decision AND certainly it wasn't up to the davises to determine what the punishment should be or their decision be final or even for them to carry it out = that is simply not our legal system

olivepoetry
olivepoetry

I thought the deal was supposed to be if someone steals your coat, you offer them the shirt off your back. Sure, stealing is wrong, but two wrongs don't make a right. The poor kid who shot this man is forever altered. No amount of saying he did the right thing is going to ease the trauma of killing someone he might have tried to feed under different circumstances. No one wins in this situation. No matter what he was doing when he was shot, Reynaldo deserved a fair inquiry into his death.

smash44
smash44

Shotguns don't shoot "bullets."

ztuha
ztuha

The writer accuses the police detective of "taking sides."  Interesting words considering that that is exactly what the writer himself has done.  He manages to take a child's heartfelt concern about finding a way to feed the hungry and turn it into something negative.  Jack "boasted" about it and "glad-handed" with politicians.  And the writer curiously glosses over the well-documented incident of just a few months earlier when the child and his mother were assaulted by armed robbers in their driveway.  That may have provided a little context as to how they may have legitimately been concerned about their safety when confronted by a grunting thug with a metal object in his hand.  It is a shame that the young man died, but the Davis family is not where i would be looking to place the blame.

captainkona
captainkona

Keep yer greasy little hands off of other people's stuff. I don't care if he was stealing a blade of grass, thieves are fodder. Simple as that. They steal what hard working people earn and if caught in the act by the owner.... Bang.

Earn your own or do without..... Or die.


mark0608
mark0608

The worst written story I have ever read. The only victim here is Jack Davis. For reasons I cannot understand, the author has decided that this story is about class warfare. Somehow the Davis' are bad people because Jeff Davis is a "successful" lawyer, and Jack Davis is an "A" student that helped pass a bill to feed the homeless. Per Mr. Miller that is viewed as evil-what a joke.

Mr. Miller, I truly hope that Jack Davis never reads the novel you wrote. You chose to pick on a young 16 year old child, who by the way, was at his home when the "victim" tried to steal his property.

Whatever happened to investigative journalism.

Now this family is suing the Davis'. You must be kidding.

Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman
Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman

Just cant get over the fact that a "mother" involved her child in the taking of someone's life, that poor kid lost his soul that day he will be forever plagued by the worst kind of guilt and he can thank his overzealous mom for that. Damn... prooving the point that she wasn't gonna let him get a way with it probably seems pretty petty to them now. I live by a certain law I do not take punishments of others into my own hands I only defend myself and others THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE, when I die my hands will be clean and so will my soul..

FWACATA
FWACATA

I really hate this whole "because the have money" routine on here. All in all, it seems that the worst criminal here was Detective Nye for being an incompetent negligent and possibly idiotic detective and a disgrace as police officer. That to me needs investigating not the thief who got shot for stealing. 

And I don't find the fact that he was Deaf any help either. This seems like a way to garner sympathy and to find some kind of AHA moment. Again I'm sorry he was murdered in this situation it is sad, yes, but YOU SHOULDN'T BE STEALING. Why does that need to be spelled out?

Fernando Buch
Fernando Buch

^if you don't agree with me, by all means get your guns and go to wall-street. Those are the people stealing your current and future monies

Fernando Buch
Fernando Buch

Dont get me wrong, sad or not, legal or not, he put himself in a bad situation. But the misused of force and the covering up is equally bad. So we should have one dead person or in jail and another person (the mother) also in jail. Manslaughter or something. We cant be shooting people for run of the mills thefts. What's next? shooting your neighbor for stealing your netflix dics?

Fernando Buch
Fernando Buch

^if my aunt had penis she would be my uncle. The paths we take in life are always in flux. Any Breaking Bad fan would tell you that

Chris Stevenson
Chris Stevenson

If they stayed in Cuba, their son probably wouldn't have turned into a criminal and would probably still be alive.

Gabriel
Gabriel

Reynaldo Munoz, was a common thief that took a risk that cost him his life.  I feel sorry for the 14 year old boy who pulled the trigger and the pain and suffering they have endured over this criminals action.  I would have shot the girlfriend as well since she was an accomplice.  

baymorgan5
baymorgan5

I LOVE Instant JUSTICE, shouldn't try to steal peoples stuff.

kreep176
kreep176

So you trying to say death is a good punishment for theft, if that is what you are applying then america is not the country for you

Socrates
Socrates

@frankd4 Frankd4 where are you from or better yet! Have you ever been in school to learn how to write. Read over what you write before posting it. And the older guy got what would happen if he had stayed in Cuba.  USA is AMAZING land and its the reason every one come here.  I just wish you out of state looser would just leave you other lives behind and really understand what it mean to be AMERICAN!

kreep176
kreep176

If he deserve to die you deserve to die for this comment..... bang bang captainkona

captainkona
captainkona

@mark0608  

The author would have us believe that because we have done well, it should be ok for some loser to steal from us. Kids too young to know any better steal stuff. A 20 year old man has no excuse.


 

peach
peach

@Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman

You have expressed very realistic concerns for the emotional well being of the young man who did the shooting.   It is too bad others can not recognize this situation and also recognize that while Munoz was absolutely wrong, he did not deserve to die.

howardhuges53
howardhuges53

@Jessica Gonzalez-Guzman More than likely you will  die at the hands of some loser like Munoz. Your liberal cowardice will not protect you from the jackals as America descends into something akin to Mad Max.

Anubian_H
Anubian_H

@FWACATA 

I totally agree with your comment. I have always been poor, from birth to now, and I have never thought that having money was a personality defect. People need to teach their kids, if you are stealing and are on someone's property when you shouldn't be, they don't know you... They don't know you're deaf. They don't know you've had a hard life. They don't know your limits or what restraints you put on yourself in times of pressure. You might get shot! It's sad, but he chose to steal from a millionaire. He wasn't victimized, set up, and then shot down. 

But that mother was so wrong in her actions/decisions. And Nye? WTF is that about?? How is she even still employed by the city? When you come down to it, all criminals have a reason for going the way that they went, and we could go through all of their life's histories boo-hoo crying about their fate and their final result, but it doesn't change the fact that he was shot when he was doing something wrong. 

teknodum
teknodum

@FWACATA  The kid was running away and shot in the back.  He should not have been purposely  executed by a heartless lying bitch and her spawn. 

Why does that need to be spelled out for you?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@Socrates @frankd4 

what it means to be an AMERICAN is the indigenous tribes got screwed over 266 years ago AND except for the seminoles YOU TOO are an "out of state" er, dude because no one BUT indigenous mexican indian tribes were here two thousand years ago = otherWISE we ALL came from someplace else

today most people come here for MICKEY MOUSE dude when they go to Disney in Orlando which IS AMAZing yes indeed

i can READ and rITE I just CAN"t tyPE

DID you know CUBA was once in the PACIFIC ?

otherwise stick a SOC in it RAT es = NO ONE has the right to kill someone else withOUT DUE PROCESS no matter the crime it has to be ajudicated by a judge and or jury and appealable to be final (which is exactly why inmates may spend DECADes on death ROw)

FWACATA
FWACATA

@teknodum I'm not saying it was RIGHT, I'm saying thats THE FUCKING REALITY OF THINGS. It isn't RIGHT that if I go to liberty city at night I might get fucking mugged or shot for my iphone, but thats REALITY. Its not RIGHT that if your black and you go to Hialeah, you better not stray from Westland Mall because the cops will harass you, but thats REALITY. Take your head out of your ass and you'll see that too, and maybe can sit at the big boy table. 

robtut40
robtut40

Leave other people's property alone and you don't get shot in the back.   HOW SIMPLE!!!    Why does that need to be spelled out for you?

frankd4
frankd4 topcommenter

@ztuha @frankd4 @Socrates 


THATs WHY the process of the law called DUE PROCESS is so very important = to find ALL the mitigating and relevant FACTs of the entire episode AND THEN have a judge and or jury DECIDE punishment based on those facts AND also have the ability to appeal that decision

the kid and the mother do NOT have the lawful position to be the ones deciding the punishment  of death and performing the execution and have the final say-so withOUT DUE PROCESS

in a christian theological view EVERYONE should get a second chance for their transgressions = how does munoz get his second chance ?

the is why DUE PROCESS is so important

ztuha
ztuha

@frankd4 @Socrates Frank, how do you know that this kid and his mother, weeks after being held up by gun-toting punks in their driveway, weren't scared for their lives when confronted in their back yard by a thug holding a metal object?

FWACATA
FWACATA

@robtut40 I agree with you on the poverty stance, to a certain degree. But to sit here and say "I drove through.." and have some kind of full assessment of a place, is kinda ballsy, no? Hialeah does have a lot of crap to it, but A LOT OF PEOPLE THERE actually WORK THEIR ASS OFF. Please refrain from such huge assumptions. Unfortunately like any other city, many people are on one social program or another, which again has nothing to do with this situation. I don't think using your power or class or whatever, be it if you're poor or rich, educated or not, to make an argument, like what's happening here is right. Should you use your clout and money to get your family out of trouble? No, but you know what, people do it because they can. Should you steal a waverunner form the back of somebody's house and not expect to get shot? NO, but he did it anyway and look at what happened.

Like I've said in other comments, the biggest asshole here is Detective Nye for not doing her job and allowing this mess to happen, and the Miami Dade Police Department from not getting to her before. 

FWACATA
FWACATA

@teknodum @howardhuges53 @FWACATA Because I presented the reality of the situation? Or because I didn't agree with everything being peddled here? Or because i'm trying to have an answer for this travesty?

robtut40
robtut40

Hi FWA - I'm not even really sure which side of the argument you're on, but - bottom line is, poverty breeds ingorance and crime.  Hialeah is the armput of south Florida - I was horrified by what I saw driving through on my way to dental appointments in the middle of the day!  I hope you aspire to a life in which you can support yourself without government subsidies, get an EDUCATION, don't have kids YOU CAN'T support, and don't steal from people who worked hard for years in college in order to support the lifestyle they wanted for their families!  Pathetic.

FWACATA
FWACATA

@teknodum @robtut40 I know what you're trying to say here, but that the current climate we live in. EVERYBODY IS ARMED, so to go and do anything like this, is taking your life into your own hands. Maybe we should figure a way for people to NOT STEAL and maybe get better jobs here in Miami

teknodum
teknodum

@robtut40 

You and your ilk are not judge , jury and executioners. Except in your own minds

 
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