Reynaldo Munoz: Shot Dead on a Stolen WaveRunner

Reynaldo Munoz: Shot Dead on a Stolen WaveRunner

"They are stealing my, my boat in the back," Yasmin Davis stuttered into the phone. Seconds earlier, the pretty Peruvian architect had been eating lunch in her $2 million Miami Shores mansion. As she tucked a slice of sushi into her mouth, she glanced out the huge glass windows and spotted a young man wrestling the family's WaveRunner into the bay. Davis had been robbed before. This time she was ready. She ripped the phone from the wall, dialed 911, and burst outside — but not before ordering her 14-year-old son Jack to grab the family's shotgun.

As Davis angrily marched toward the water, Reynaldo Muñoz wrenched the 800-pound machine from its mooring. The 20-year-old stood only five-foot-six but was strong enough to topple the watercraft into the bay, where his girlfriend waited on their own WaveRunner.

"I have a gun!" Davis screamed as she approached Muñoz.

"Tell me exactly what's going on," the female 911 dispatcher pleaded with Davis, who was still clutching the cordless phone. But it was too late. Jack had already found the shotgun fastened beneath his mother's bed. Now he came running outside.

"Let it go!" Davis yelled at Muñoz as he sat on the bobbing watercraft, trying to jump-start the engine. "Let it go, or I'm going to shoot you! Let it go! Let it go!"

Just then, Jack arrived with the gun. "Muévete, muévete," Davis told her son, urging him toward a grassy patch of lawn overlooking the water. "You see him?" she said. "Shoot!"

Jack raised the shotgun to his face. Sunlight glinted off its metal muzzle. The sea hissed softly. Then the child prodigy with red ringlets squeezed the trigger, and the lazy Saturday afternoon shattered like glass.

Muñoz fell face down into the bay, blood billowing from his head into the murky water. Jack staggered sickly back toward the house, the shotgun still in his hand. "Oh my God," Davis said upon seeing what her son had done, her words captured on the 911 recording.

It's been two years since the single blast rang out across Biscayne Bay, but memories of the bizarre incident still circle as if caught in the sea's inscrutable eddies. The May 21, 2011 shooting was by no means the most mysterious in Miami's long ledger of botched burglaries. Nor was it the first time one kid had killed another. But a combination of lies, incompetence, and insane legislation have ensured that the slaying remains one of the city's most controversial.

Despite the buckshot embedded in the back of Muñoz's head, it was the Davises who emerged as victims. Yasmin Davis, her lawyer husband, and their high-powered attorney all claimed the family had been protecting itself against a potentially deadly home invasion. They cited Stand Your Ground, the Florida self-defense statute that would become infamous nine months later when George Zimmerman gunned down Trayvon Martin.

The evidence, however, suggested a much darker motive: that Reynaldo Muñoz was killed to prevent him from stealing the WaveRunner and that the Davises lied to cover up their own crime.

But bad laws and bad law enforcement conspired against the case. First, a Miami-Dade detective with a terrible track record botched her investigation. Then prosecutors, handcuffed by Stand Your Ground and harangued by the wealthy family's lawyers, decided not to charge Yasmin Davis or her son with a crime.

Reynaldo Muñoz Sr. admits his son made a serious mistake by committing the theft. But was the young man's life really worth a $2,000 WaveRunner?

"My son died over some rich kid's toy," he says. "They say this is a country of laws, but what good are they when some people can buy the law and others can't?"


The two young men would have never met if not for the bullet that brought them together. They came from opposite worlds: one wealthy and well-connected, the other working-class and cursed by misfortune. But when those two sides of Miami finally intersected that Saturday afternoon, they ignited.

Reynaldo Muñoz was born July 23, 1990, in the sweltering Havana barrio of Luyanó. It was a time of crisis in Cuba: The Berlin Wall had fallen eight months earlier, and the Soviet Union was slowly disintegrating. Food and gasoline suddenly became scarce. Zoo animals began disappearing, as did stray cats and dogs.

The only reason Reynaldo's family survived the Special Period was its car: a beat-up '57 Ford, but a precious commodity in a city so poor. Reynaldo Sr. drove the aging automobile around Havana's crumbling streets as a chauffeur, while his wife, Idalmis, nursed their infant.

The three of them lived with her parents in an apartment next to Reynaldo Sr.'s carpentry workshop. Despite his father's hammering and sawing, however, Reynaldo Jr. seemed to sleep soundly. At first, the young parents thought it was a blessing to have a child so sweet. But after six months, they began to worry.

Finally, the couple took the baby to the hospital. Doctors found that Reynaldo was ­completely deaf. The diagnosis was daunting. It was hard enough to raise a child in Havana, a city where hunger was as inescapable as the humidity, so what hope did a disabled boy have?

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30 comments
Reason
Reason

Those who think that a HUMAN LIFE is worth killing to protect a THING worth $2,000(or much less according to some bloodthirsty commenters on here) and defending blatant liars and people who break serious laws (i.e. the real criminals, like the family that corrupts the morals of a child, tampered with evidence, perjured, obstructed justice, and killed coldbloodedly a poor disabled refugee AND those who conspired to obstruct justice by violating laws and policies in order to allow this rich family avoid responsibilty for their crimes) are really so warped in their thought process, moral values, and common sense that no amount of facts, evidence, laws, and reasoning offered would change their desire to kill people JUST BECAUSE THEY WANT to due to their abusive interpretation and malicious application of Florida's Stand Your Ground law that was intended to allow PEOPLE to use violent and even deadly force to PROTECT Themseves when THEIR HEALTH OR SAFETY is reasonably deemed in IMMINENT DANGER. Not to protect replaceable things, especially the Davises could file an insurance claim or, gulp, replace their toy since $2k is pocket change to these mansion-dwelling privileged folks.

This case and the arguments offered by people to defend or to try to justify such a crime and senseless KILLING OF A HUMAN BEING reflects badly on the people themselves, the state of Florida, the local legal system, and on the vast majority of us 2nd amendment advocates. The Davises will have to pay for their crime(s) eventually, first by paying their victim's family millions in the civil suit, which could produce enough evidence of criminalilty such as perjury, tampering with evidence, corrupting the morals of a child, obstruction, conspiracy, and some level of unlawful homicide (probably manslaughter instead of murder) to force a criminal case, especially if there is evidence of conspiracies with government officials and entities involved in this case (who are usually named as defendants in civil rights violation lawsuits such as this one). They all will probably use money (private, insurances, and taxpayers') to escape criminal prosecution and justice for their crimes and coverups. The rich and their cronies often do pay for their crimes. They just use money to pay for lawyers, judges, politicians, bureaucrats,and victims while we regular people pay with our freedom, health, and as in this case LIFE...for a minor, nonviolent crime that he would probably get a probated sentence since he has no priors ( and B.S. to the nonsense that this theft would likely lead to more serious crimes and even a "life of crime" because there's no objective data to support it, the young man's background would not support it--many people his age have made more serious and damaging choices than stealing a $2k thing and turned out fine--, plus if he's not yet an American citizen, he would have learned very quickly after his first offense that he could be deported if he continued to commit serious crimes).

This family has a strain of that disease called "Affluenza"-- see the headline grabbing case of the Fort Worth, Texas 16 year old b

Reason
Reason

Man, the readers who commented on this story are either a special breed foreign to most fair-minded and reasonable American citizens or are shills and sock puppets for this privileged wealthy family. There's nothing unfair or unreasonable or out of the ordinary for an "investigative" piece of journalism like this one.

Such an article is driven by credible factual evidence of injustice, corruption, incompetence, conspiracy, lack of transparency,or other issues that have wider implications for the community and "public interest." The major issues of "public interest" are (1) Florida's Stand Your Ground law is flawed at best because it COULD be used by trigger-happy individuals or by individuals needing a legal cover to avoid taking appropriate personal responsibility for their criminal act/s, (2) there is evidence of a classic case of preferential treatment by governmental authorities toward those who are financially well-off or well-connected, with the opposite generally being the lot in life for most other individuals ( the old saying is often very true: the rich and poor pay for their crimes, it's just that the poor pay with their freedom and lives while the rich pay with their money--hiring a team of top-notch lawyers, making campaign contributions to the DA, sheriff, city and state leaders, etc.), (3) often corruption and/or incompetence by governmental entities and officials is a major factor in the privileged few in society getting away with things that the rest of us cannot.

This report is full of facts that clearly paint a picture of how such an unfair system works. Neither the writer nor the grieving parents try to deny that the dead man had committed a crime of stealing a $2,000 property, which most reasonable and fair-minded people (and the law governing such crimes) deem as relatively minor and not deserving of taking a human life. The dead man's background is relevant to this story because it adds an element of tragedy and humanity (a poor family that risked their lives fleeing an unjust society and starting to enjoy the freedom, opportunities, and equality under the law in their new home gets a shocking and deadly taste of the dark side of this great nation/society) to the disparity in how people from different socio-economic classes are treated by many laws and government officials (made and enforced by people who get campaign donations and other very legal benefits from the wealthy class).

Those who think that a human life

melinda_cook68
melinda_cook68

"Nye's ex-husband, fellow cop Luis Manuel Marrero, had been arrested June 14, 2008, for sexually assaulting one of their two teenage daughters, along with one of the girl's friends"...

By saying it was one of her teenage daughters you just basically named the innocent victim of a sexual assualt. WHY would you do that?? 

kcguitarplayer
kcguitarplayer

The only justifiable reason to take a life is to immediately preserve your own life or that of someone Else's. Going one step further, even to prevent bodily harm. But there is no object in this world you need bad enough to kill someone over. No doubt there are those who are looking for any reason to blow somebody away. Perhaps those people would think better of it if those who are stealing decided (as they too often do) to murder everyone before they stole from them. Admittingly this is an extreme argument but if material objects are worth killing for , what does it matter who temporarily owns the object. These philosophical arguments go on for ever but the killing should stop somewhere. Sadly there will always be those who enjoy killing and look to justify it.

fantastika
fantastika

What a crock of journalist dog-dodo.

If someone is stealing your car right in front of you, you warn him off, he just takes it anyway, gives you the finger and drives off in your car, and you are just supposed to say "Okay", and smile?

Horse thieves were hung in the Old West, and car-jackers and boat stealers should be hung, today. Shooting them is a mercy.

With pro-crime "news"papers like this, no wonder criminals run riot in South Florida.


yuri.ossorio
yuri.ossorio

the price you pay for the life you choose... who ever wrote this article is a complete and utter idiot!!!!!!!! he was warned yet he chose to not give a F**K !!!!

rickgalland357
rickgalland357

So far I have tried very hard to give this "publication" the benefit of the doubt, but I can today state with certainty that the New Times is nothing more than a fifth-rate yellow rag more intent on lionizing the "accomplishments" of a common thief, and painting the actions of law-abiding citizens as proper of criminals.  Let's face it boys, the punk came looking for trouble, and trouble found him.  Hopefully some criminals will take this lesson to heart and remember "Thou Shall not Steal'.  And he if had come to my home and tried the same stunt, he would be just as dead.

Jacked
Jacked

20 year old tries to steal, and is shot in the act and dies.

and the thief is the victim? 

shooter should get the key to the city!


lonianderson1979
lonianderson1979 topcommenter

Very biased article. I don't like the way you paint the Davis' as evil rich people and the dead criminal as some kind of victim. It's a sad story but the Davis' lives have been turned upside down too. Also the Campbell story is totally irrelevant.

LWBulldog
LWBulldog

The father is wrong. It has nothing to do with a fight between rich and poor. It has everything to do with a criminal stealing something that does not belong to him and an owner of property protecting his rights whether the property is on land or on sea. People need to understand the difference in right and wrong...There are no morals being taught today and that is the parents fault.  In this case, the gun was the deciding factor, unfortunately.

joeb104
joeb104

his choice, his life. ENDO.

Maynard56
Maynard56

I'm betting that kid won't be stealing any more jet skis. I will bet he won't have the opportunity to graduate into a career offender where he commits a burglary or does something like commit a rape or murder. Sorry, but when you go onto someone's property to steal their stuff, you have to expect the worst that can happen because sometimes it will.

Like this case. Perhaps Munoz mother should, instead of suing the people who were being violated by her son, should take a look in the mirror and wonder where she went wrong as a parent. Clearly, her blaming the Davis family for the result of her son's plot that he set in motion is a pretty good indicator of what type of parent she was.

Someone who doesn't know how to take responsibility for her own actions. Just like her kid. Except he had no choice but to take responsibility. 

icculus17
icculus17 topcommenter

can't wait to move out of this third world country, this is not the real America

Justin Ortega
Justin Ortega

Every review on their page is 1 star, with the comments all horribly negative. This seems to be the status quo of this political tabloid.

Chris Hockenbury
Chris Hockenbury

HE TRIED TO STEAL A WAVERUNNER!! He got shot trying, end of story. He's not a victim, he's a dead thief.

Danny Morin
Danny Morin

I'm proud of the comments section of this story.

Chris Pino
Chris Pino

Shame on you New Times Broward Palm Beach for letting one of your writers right such a shitty story, and then actually allowing it to be published... Someone should be fired over this "investigative report"!

Chris Pino
Chris Pino

This is like the polar opposite of Fox news... While I think we should have SOME gun control, and I think killing someone over a waverunner is a bad choice, and I also think having your son do the shooting for you is an even worse choice. I don't agree that this kid stealing the waverunner is the victim, would it have been nice if he just got arrested instead of getting killed? SURE. In the end, if you have the balls to climb up on someone's sea wall and jack their waverunner that they went and paid for (whether they are rich or not), you run the risk of getting your head blown off... It's that simple, and in this case, it didn't work out so good for him.

Shawn Weaver
Shawn Weaver

You guys sure have a way of twisting storys....thats why nobody reads your stuff anymore...he would still be alive if he didnt steal... thats the bottom line

Justin Ortega
Justin Ortega

Seriously, report the facts and leave the politically charged bias bullshit out of the story. This is why we need guns. The problem was solved before the 911 dispatcher could even ask the address for the 3rd time. The harder the media pushes gun control by trying to convince the public to sympathize for criminals, the more guns and ammo I'm going to buy. This kid was dead when his father couldnt teach him right from wrong. Doing wrong is just what got him shot. No sympathy for bad guys.

Mark Dougan
Mark Dougan

Guess he shouldn't be on other people's property stealing wave runners. Saves us from having to house a criminal for the next five years, or worse, saves some future victim of one of his escalated crimes - rape, murder, etc...

Rachel R Levy Lewis
Rachel R Levy Lewis

This article is so incredibly bad. How can you glorify this person's death this way? It doesn't matter who he was stealing from, whether they were rich or poor. This young man committed a crime and regardless of his cultural predicament or his handicap, had he not been a thief he would not have been put into a situation where he would have had to pay with his life. How was the Davis family supposed to know that the guy stealing their stuff in broad daylight was deaf? This is the most absurd and backwards use of pity I have seen yet. He's not a martyr, he's a thief.

Brian Bartlett
Brian Bartlett

I would have shot anyone stealing my shit too... I dont care how old or how young its how stupid are you for being a theif thinking for a minute a millionaire woulndt defednt themselves or not have a gun in the home. The more money people have the more willing they are to protect them selves and their property.

Steven A Akin
Steven A Akin

"My son died over some rich kid's toy," he says. Thats funny. YOUR SON DIED AS A THIEF!

Sandor Halako
Sandor Halako

sounds like a waste of life,I wouldn't kill someone for that. I think its a good law.

Jacked
Jacked

@Chris Pino   Ok, where do you live?  I want your stuff.  call the cops as I drive off with your car and crap.  

-the problem is he would likely have gotten away with the crime had he not been shot.

Jacked
Jacked

@Sandor Halako you too, where do you live?

Can I take your car?  how about you TV? 

 Please let me know the amount I'm allowed to steal before you shoot.

I promise to take a little less than that amount.



 
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