Couple Arrested After Pointing Guns at Local Daycare

Two bodybuilders found themselves in hot water after allegedly brandishing rifles in a Florida strip mall parking lot, which also housed a daycare center. The Miami-Dade Police Department apprehended Estrella Maria Pereira, 50, and Miguel Ruiz, 57, on Monday afternoon. The duo faced charges of aggravated assault with a firearm and displaying a weapon on school property, according to official records.

The incident came to light when a mother, who was there to pick up her child from the Devon Aire Kiddy College daycare, noticed a man, later identified as Ruiz, waving a rifle in various directions, including towards the daycare’s entrance. She promptly alerted the police around 4 p.m. Pereira was reportedly photographing Ruiz as he posed with the weapon.

Upon arrival, the police allegedly found Ruiz in a kneeling position, as if ready to fire. The officers swiftly apprehended the pair. Surveillance footage later confirmed that Ruiz had indeed pointed the rifle towards the daycare, as stated in the arrest affidavit.

Following their arrest, Pereira and Ruiz were transported to the Miami-Dade County Jail. They have since been released on bail. The pair expressed remorse for their actions, claiming they were unaware of the daycare’s presence.

“We’re just in the bodybuilding world and we went to take some bodybuilding pictures, like as strong athletes,” Pereira explained to local ABC affiliate WPLG. “I promise, we would never do anything to harm anyone.” She added that she was unfamiliar with the area and insisted there was no signage indicating the presence of a daycare. However, images from Google Maps contradict her claim, clearly showing the daycare’s name in large letters atop the building, along with images of backpacks, books, and crayons in the windows.

Ruiz echoed Pereira’s sentiments, labeling the incident a “huge mistake.” He apologized, stating, “I didn’t realize there was a daycare right there.” Pereira added, “It’s saddening because it was just a really dumb decision.”