Unmasked teens smash restaurant’s water line, return, apologize

A Miami restaurant owner said a group of teens who vandalized his business after they were denied entry for not wearing face masks has made amends.

On Saturday night outside the popular grilled cheese sandwich restaurant Ms. Cheezious on Miami’s Biscayne Boulevard, four teenagers were denied entry for not wearing face masks to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

Several then apparently smashed a spigot, causing Ms. Cheezious’ water service to fail as it gushed all over the sidewalk.

On surveillance footage of the sidewalk outside the restaurant, two members of the group disappear from the camera’s view before a spray of water erupts and they run back into the frame.

As water from a smashed spigot sprays toward street traffic, the four teens run away.

Restaurant owner Brian Mullins posted surveillance images on social media and told NBC News that shortly after he asked for — and received — information about the vandals, the teens turned themselves in to his restaurant, apologized for the vandalism and offered to pay for any damages.

Mullins said he will not not press charges.

“We are trying to get ready for our 10-year anniversary; I don’t need this to be a bad week for anybody. We are all going through a lot right now,” Mullins said.

The chain has closed two other locations because of the pandemic, and its Biscayne Boulevard location only recently reopened for dine-in service, Mullins said.

“Even when we were allowed to let people in, we weren’t necessarily comfortable,” Mullins said. “We are down to a small team — God forbid, if any of us get sick, we are done.”

And that, he said, is why he enforces the Miami-Dade County mask mandate.

He said the three teens who showed back up the next afternoon were “hat in hand” and “genuinely apologized.”

“Chalk it up to a life lesson,” Mullins said, that you have to own up when you make mistakes.

Another lesson, he added, is that if you don’t own up, chances are high that others are watching: “There’s a camera everywhere,” he said.