MIAMI, Fla. – No masks. No entry. Then anger. But, in the end, an apology. And they wore masks.
A group caught on surveillance video possibly breaking a pipe outside of a sandwich shop on Biscayne Boulevard Saturday returned to the restaurant Sunday to apologize to the owner and offered to pay for the damage.
Surveillance video and photos on Local 10 and social media made the rounds Saturday after two men and two women were denied entry to Ms. Cheezious at 7418 Biscayne Boulevard.
It happened after employees told the foursome they weren’t allowed in because they weren’t wearing masks — a mandate due to COVID-19 protocols.
Shortly after 6:45 p.m., they are seen on surveillance video lingering in front of the shop before the two men in the group go out of the range of the camera. Then, there’s a burst of water and the group takes off running. Outside, owner Brian Mullins found a broken waterline sending a stream down Biscayne Boulevard from out of his store.
“You don’t want to wear a mask so you destroy our property? I can’t afford to have my property destroyed. We can barely afford to stay open,” Mullins told Local 10 on Saturday night. The restaurant near Biscayne and Northeast 74th Street is struggling like other businesses due to shutdowns from the pandemic.
When we followed up on Sunday, he said someone called the shop around 11:30 a.m. and asked if they could come in to speak with him.
“They said who they were and that they were involved. So, we set up a time for around 12:30,” Mullins said. “They apologized and said they would pay for the damages. And, yes, they did wear masks.”
Mullins said they were “kids who were maybe 18, 19-years-old.” They worked it out and he has decided that he is not going to file charges with police.
Mullins has made a temporary fix by capping the water line and he’s hoping to have a plumber work on it on Monday. He expects the cost to be under $1,000, he’s been told.
“ ‘Whether it was an accident, whether you did it with malice intent – I’m not going to speak to your character. If you’re saying it was an accident, I will take that at face value so you can make it right,’ “ Mullins said he told the teens.
He said he offered them a piece of advice about life in the age of social media. “If they don’t take anything else away from this, I wanted them to understand that probably wherever they are, there’s a camera and networks. If you don’t think you’re doing the right thing, someone is seeing you.”
Mullins said by Sunday morning, he had received details about who the teens were from the public everything from photos of where they had been after they left his restaurant to their social media handles.
“They had to turn off their social media accounts,” the teens told him. “They were getting bombarded.”