Police seeking ‘unruly’ customer who wrecked COVID barrier at Miami Beach restaurant

Madeleine Marr
·2 min read

A South Beach restaurant is asking the public for information about an unwanted visitor who had a violent tantrum there Friday night.

Surveillance video posted on Taquiza Taco’s Instagram page shows a maskless man in shorts storming in, brushing by other customers, then shoving himself up against plexiglass near the cashier, flailing his arms.

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Christine Martinez, the restaurant’s operations manager, on Wednesday told the Miami Herald that at around 8 p.m., the man barreled into the place, scared employees and damaged property — including the front counter’s COVID barrier.

Martinez said she believed the man had been in a fight with some people in line; then, distracted, left some of his possessions behind on a table while ordering. He only realized the items were missing after he left, which is why he returned. Tequiza’s staff told him they had no idea where his stuff was and he became belligerent.

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“Do you recognize him?” reads the restaurant’s Instagram plea. It added that the tumultuous scene frightened guests and caused Taquiza to close early on what would have been a busy night.

The taco spot offered an apology to the patrons who had to witness the “unruly” individual.

Miami Beach police officers arrived, but were unable to apprehend him.

A police spokesman told the Miami Herald that as of Wednesday afternoon, the man was still at large and that there were no new updates. Anyone who has information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. You may be eligible for a $1,000 reward.

Martinez said the acrylic barrier the man vandalized was worth about $250. He also broke some bowls from Mexico that had “sentimental value.”

“At the end of the day, South Beach is South Beach,” she said. “But I really hope he doesn’t come back. It was scary.”