You know the deal in Miami: When your daughter turns 15, you throw her a giant shindig. It's the Latina's mitzvah. No expense is spared. Everything is perfect — until you find the hidden cameras in the girls' bathroom.
That's what Elizabeth De Angeles Gazo says happened to her April 28, after she paid $3,300 to rent the T-2000 International Production banquet hall, on 22nd Avenue just off Calle Ocho, for her daughter's quince.
Everything was going swimmingly — smoke machine, DJ, strobe lights, pink tablecloths — when a family friend named Maria rushed from the girls' bathroom with a disturbing revelation. She had spotted a tiny video camera in the air-conditioning vent.
The family yanked out the camera and called Miami police. When the cops arrived, they found the banquet hall's owner, 43-year-old Tony Munnet, removing another camera from a light fixture in the same bathroom.
Munnet told the cops "he had no knowledge of such hidden cameras" and blamed a thieving former employee. When reached by Riptide, Munnet said the employee (who we're not naming because he has not been charged with anything) had rigged the cameras before absconding to Texas about a year ago with stolen bounce houses and laser lights.
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"I was freaking out," Munnet says of finding the hidden cameras. "I have a good reputation, my kids go to Christian school, I'm known in the neighborhood."
Munnet says he has pointed the police toward the former employee. The Miami PD declined to comment on the investigation. According to a police report, officers searched the banquet hall's attic and found no other suspicious equipment.
Call us puritanical, but we have an old saying: When there are hidden cameras in the girls' bathroom of a banquet hall, somebody better get arrested.
The girl's aunt, Guadalupe Medrano, says the cops seemed bizarrely disinterested. "There's no reason for the cameras to be there in the first place," she says.