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McDonald’s confirms crucial piece of video now gone in Hialeah armed carjacking case

HIALEAH, Fla. – The Miami-State Attorney’s Office sent a subpoena to get a very specific piece of video from a Hialeah McDonald’s, but it was not handed over this week as requested.

Now McDonald’s confirms to Local 10 that the video is gone.

The missing video was from a camera behind the register, which faces the front counter. It allegedly showed Jonathan Reyes’ face from the front before he followed an elderly woman out of the fast-food restaurant, then allegedly attacked the woman in the parking lot and stole her car.

Prosecutors know that piece of video exists because the 84-year-old victim and a Hialeah detective saw it the night of the attack back in February. That’s how Reyes was identified as the attacker..

The victim, who said she had just stopped in to the McDonald’s for a cup of coffee, asked that we not identify her. She tells us: "I saw his face for the first time in that video that was there.”

But the video, a key piece of evidence is missing. In a new motion filed with the court, the state attorney’s office wants to know why.

Verbally, attorney’s for McDonald’s told prosecutors that camera angle is no longer available and gave no reason..

The state said the video was supoenaed back in March and that the store’s manager, a security officer and McDonald’s attorney knew prosecutors wanted the specific angle because it showed Reyes' face. They were told it would be preserved.

Jonathan Reyes is a suspect in the armed carjacking of an 84-year-old woman in the parking lot of a Hialeah McDonald's.
Jonathan Reyes is a suspect in the armed carjacking of an 84-year-old woman in the parking lot of a Hialeah McDonald's.

But for seven months, McDonald’s has been fighting not to turn over any video. This week a judge ordered McDonald’s to give them the tapes. That’s when it was discovered that the crucial piece of video, the direct shot of the suspect from the front, was missing.

Late this afternoon Local 10 received a statement from McDonald’s USA.:

“McDonald’s is working diligently to aid the State Attorney’s Office in their investigation. We have provided multiple angles of surveillance footage that document the day’s events and include various visuals of the perpetuator, including those of his face. It was recently brought to our attention that one of the video angles requested by the State Attorney’s Office was inadvertently missed. Unfortunately, our surveillance footage is only available in the system for a limited time and the missing angle is no longer available. We have spoken to the State Attorney’s Office about this and have offered to help in any way. McDonald’s has not destroyed any video and continues to cooperate with the State Attorney’s Office on this case.”

McDonald’s points out in the statement that they provided several other different angles to the State Attorney’s office, but the one that the office did not receive is no longer available.

The question is will those suffice or will this case be in jeopardy because that particular piece of video is missing?

The elderly victim told us: “I don’t know what to think. If he’s a delinquent, he should stay in jail, that’s what I think.”

Reyes, who has a long criminal record, remains behind bars on charges from other incidents.

(State Attorney demands McDonald’s fully comply. See below.)


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