Before becoming a Florida senator or a 2016 Republican presidential hopeful, Marco Rubio was apparently just another kid caught in the wrong place at the wrong time. After a bad first year at college in Missouri, Rubio returned home to Miami shortly before the summer of 1990, when he was arrested in May at age 18 for being in a public park after it had closed for the night, the Washington Post reported Thursday.
The misdemeanor offense was eventually dismissed, and most of the documentation that led to the dismissal of charges has been destroyed by the Miami-Dade County court clerk’s office. The police report didn't indicate there was any alcohol or drug activity going on. Police officials said it was commonplace at the time to dismiss minor offenses at the park. After the incident, Rubio packed his bags to start college classes at Santa Fe College, diving into his studies.
The apparent youthful indiscretion took place just a year after Rubio’s brother-in-law was convicted for drug trafficking. Orlando Cicilia, who now works in real estate, was reported to be the “front man” in a massive cocaine ring, coordinating with buyers and organizing shipments, the Daily Mail reported.
Unlike his brother-in-law’s arrest, Rubio’s brush with the law has never been reported, and he hasn’t talked about it during his campaigns. Rubio’s campaign has said it was not a story even worth reporting.
— Mashable (@mashable) January 22, 2016
“When he was 18 years old, he violated a municipal code for drinking beer in a park after hours,” Todd Harris, Rubio’s presidential campaign strategist, said to the Post. “He was never taken into custody, never hired a lawyer and never appeared in court. Why The Washington Post thinks that is a story is beyond me.”
don't know about all y'all, but I'm not comfortable with a commander in chief who ever dabbled with park-after-hours https://t.co/51JPpxhu5T
— Colin Campbell (@BKcolin) January 22, 2016
Some on social media also questioned the Post's article, criticizing the correlation between being an aimless youth and being arrested in a park after hours, only to have the charges dismissed. Others, such as GOP strategist Rick Wilson, were more sarcastic in their approach.
My GOD. Who IS this monster? <dying> https://t.co/MiDm0gLX5w
— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) January 21, 2016
Marco Rubio was once in a public park after dark. I'm not kidding...that's the "arrest." That's it. https://t.co/UZuSmEdep9
— Kristen S Anderson (@KSoltisAnderson) January 21, 2016
Breaking News! SIREN!: Marco Rubio behaved like a teenager when he was a teenager. He had a beer in a park 1 night. https://t.co/97yeFezIIA
— Ana Navarro (@ananavarro) January 22, 2016