Deep-frying ‘tamales’ prompts carbon monoxide poisoning in Kendall

Miami-Dade firefighters evacuated an apartment building in Kendall Thursday morning after they detecting high levels of carbon monoxide. 

Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Lt. Felipe Lay said the carbon monoxide was coming from an apartment at 15221 SW 80 St. The family was deep-frying “tamales.” 

Firefighters said the family was using the deep-fryer on Wednesday night, and woke up feeling sick. Two were treated at the apartment complex and four required hospitalization.

Here is a list of safety tips: 

1. Keep children and pets away from the fryer.

2. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

3. Do not use a deep fryer indoors. 

4. Don’t leave the fryer unattended. 

5. Make sure the fryer is completely turned off and that it is cool before leaving it unattended.

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Ghoulish thief steals Halloween decorations from Kendall family

A family in the Calusa neighborhood in West Kendall said a crook was caught on one of their surveillance cameras stealing Halloween decorations from their yard.

“To be honest, I was shocked, and then the fear set in,” said homeowner Shea Polakow.

Polakow said she first noticed some decorations were gone as she left for work Tuesday morning.

“It took me a moment to digest that, so I checked my cameras,” she said.

That’s when she saw video from the night before of a white car backing up on her street and parking next to her house.

A man can then be seen dismantling one of her creepy clown inflatables, and in another shot, unplugging and removing a projector.

Polakow then had to break the news to her middle-school-aged son.

“She says that our decorations were stolen while we were sleeping,” said Chase Polakow-Taylor.

Polakow said two inflatables, priced at around $200 a piece, and three $40 projectors were stolen.

“It was so brazen. It was so blatant, it was a complete invasion of privacy,” she said.

“I don’t know what he was doing – if he was thinking or not,” Polakow-Taylor said. 

The family filed a police report with the Miami-Dade Police Department.

Anyone with information is asked to call Miami-Dade CrimeStoppers at 305-471-8477.

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Local 10 obtains surveillance video of shooting of AAA contractor in Kendall

Local 10 News obtained home surveillance video on Friday that showed the moment a AAA contractor was shot dead by a man in Kendall.

The video from a neighbor’s home shows a man, believed to be Jesus Esquivel, 63, pulling out a gun after Magdiel Hernandez, 38, arrived July 11 at his home on Southwest 87th Court.

A few words appear to have been exchanged before Esquivel allegedly shot Hernandez multiple times.

Seconds later, Esquivel appears to beat Hernandez’s lifeless body with a cane, before calling 911 himself.

Miami-Dade police said Esquivel called AAA earlier in the day to fix a malfunctioning car battery.

When the technician called Esquivel to tell him that he was on the way, Esquivel became irate and threatened the technician, police said.

Authorities said the technician called AAA dispatch and asked to be removed from the service call because of the threats.

AAA then assigned Hernandez to the service call, police said.

Police said Esquivel shot Hernandez multiple times. Hernandez was pronounced dead at the scene.

Esquivel, who is charged with second-degree murder, appeared in court Wednesday, where he learned that his trial will begin on Oct. 23.

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Miami-Dade police officer helps man with dementia who wandered to South Florida

A Miami-Dade police officer recently helped out an 81-year-old man who suffers from dementia and Alzheimer’s disease after he wandered into South Florida from Cocoa Beach.

“I saw a lot of my father in him,” Officer Alejandro Munoz said. “He was charming, well dressed — just like my father, but I knew there was something wrong.”

Munoz said he responded to a call at 1:30 a.m. July 19 about an injured man at a Shell gas station in Kendall.
But the man, identified as Alec Baird, wasn’t injured and had just driven down from Cocoa Beach.

“My dad died when he was 79 years old. My father did suffer from the same medical condition,” Munoz said. “It kind of touched me in a personal way when I was speaking to this man. He was perfect.”

Baird told the officer that he was in Kendall with his wife for an event and just needed directions to the highway.

But the officer could tell something wasn’t right

“(There) was something that wasn’t really convincing me,” Munoz said. “After I got in contact with his son, he told me his wife passed away two years ago, and he is suffering from early stages of dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and he had no business in South Florida.”

Baird’s son, who is the Panama City Fire Rescue chief, typically responds to similar calls.

“Even though I’m a firefighter and a paramedic — so I’m prepared for this type of thing — it hits home when it’s your father,” Alex Baird said. 

Munoz stayed in touch with the family and checked Alec Baird into a hospital to ensure that he was safe until his son could make the nine-hour drive to get him.

“He was on the phone with me the entire time, even to the point where it was after his shift,” Alex Baird said. “The next day, he still called me to make sure everything was OK.”

“It’s what’s right,” Munoz said. “It’s what we should all do as humans, regardless of the positions that we hold.”


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Robbers get away with $25,000 worth of merchandise from AT&T store in Kendall

Miami-Dade police are searching for three armed robbers who held up an AT&T store last month in Kendall.

The robbery was reported at about 8:30 p.m. July 13 at the AT&T at 12190 SW 88th St.

Police said one robber walked around the store for a few minutes before he pulled out a gun and forced employees and customers to lie down in the back of the store.

He then took all of their wallets and cellphones, authorities said.

Police said another robber acted as a lookout while a third man ordered an employee to open the safe.

The employee told the thief that there was a time delay on the safe, authorities said.

Police said the man told her he didn’t have time to wait and grabbed about 20 to 25 cellphones.

Police said the thieves left the store with about $25,000 worth of merchandise.

None of the victims were injured.

Anyone with information about the thieves’ identities is asked to call Miami-Dade Crime Stoppers at 305-471-TIPS. 

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Judge withdraws plea deal for woman charged in crash that seriously injured Javier Perez

A South Florida woman accepted a plea deal Friday for a DUI crash that seriously injured the former principal of South Dade Senior High School.

However, Miami-Dade County Judge Diane Ward withdrew the plea deal. Marilyn Aguilera’s trial has been set to begin Dec. 11. 

The judge initially didn’t sign off on the deal because of concern about medication that Aguilera said she took in the morning. 

As part of the deal, Marilyn Aguilera would have pleaded guilty to three counts of DUI and would have been sentenced to four years in prison.

She would also have been sentenced to a year of house arrest following her release and two years of probation.

The former high school principal, Javier Perez, lost both his legs in the April 26, 2016, crash and another man, Elias Espinoza, was also injured.

Police said Aguilera was driving drunk when she struck the victims at a children’s baseball game at a West Kendall park.

Authorities said Aguilera remained at the scene after the crash.

Aguilera hired a new attorney this week, who told reporters that she is a childhood friend of the defendant and that she has agreed to represent her pro bono.

“This is unusual because she couldn’t pay her other lawyer,” Ana Davide said after a hearing on Monday. “Because she’s unemployed, she’s a single mom and has no money.”

Aguilera told the judge Friday that she took medication in the morning and Ward questioned her about the side effects of the drugs.

The judge admonished Aguilera earlier in court, telling her to “act like an adult and raise your right hand.”

Ward withdrew the plea deal after asking Aguilera whether she was OK with her representation and Aguilera began talking about the faults of her former attorney. 

Prosecutor Laura Adams said the plea deal was a below-guidelines offer because the victims wanted closure. 

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