Last year, the New York Times dug into Marco Rubio's ticket-strewn driving history, and the local response was, "Well, he pretty much drives like a typical Miamian." Turns out the Times missed a big part of Rubio's legal history that the Washington Post only recently dug up: He was arrested in 1990 when he was 18 years old. However, the incident report makes Rubio seem like a typical Miami teenager who was at the wrong place at the wrong time.
The Post spends about 1,760 words breathlessly recounting Rubio's previously unreported arrest. In the summer of 1990, Rubio, who had just returned from his first year of college, was hanging out in a public park after hours.
Rubio was technically arrested, but according to those interviewed, he was not handcuffed or taken into custody. Instead, he was handed a notice to appear, and the charges were eventually thrown out.
The park in question is Alice C. Wainwright Park in Brickell. Just two years ago, New Times awarded it Best Picnic Spot in our annual Best of Miami issue, describing it as "a gem hidden among multimillion-dollar mansions on a hard-to-find spot south of downtown" with a "millionaire's view for the masses." In the 1990s, however, the park had a rougher reputation.
“Gang warfare, gunfire, prostitution (straight and gay), drug dealing and muggings" is how a neighborhood newsletter at the time described the park, according to the Post.
Rubio's arrest went down at 9:37 p.m. May 23, 1990. He had a summer job that involved transporting documents to and from Brickell law firms. The remaining police documents on the incident indicate Rubio and two other teenagers were in the park after dark.
Todd Harris, Rubio's presidential campaign strategist, tried to dismiss the story but did note that Rubio was drinking beer at the time, a detail the Post hadn't discovered.
A friend who was with Rubio said they were just hanging out and didn't usually hang out in the park. He said they weren't arrested but instead were given notices to appear in court. Apparently, the charges never went anywhere, and none of the teens ended up in court.
Rubio had never mentioned the incident but has been open about doing a bit of partying in his early years. In his book, An American Son, he detailed an incident where he was at a foam party in South Beach that caused him to get serious with his girlfriend, who would go on to become his wife.
In any event, the arrest seems relatively minor compared to the legal run-ins of, say, Jeb Bush's Miami-raised children.