1. News

Tampa millenial rescues Zeus, the missing kiteboarding dog, in most millenial way possible

Miguel Camacho helps reunite the Maramenides family with their beloved dog, Zeus. Zeus, who is known for his ability to pilot a kiteboard, was allegedly stolen Sunday while the family attended a kiteboarding competition near the north end of the Skyway Bridge. [Courtesy of Helen Trotman]
Published Nov. 9, 2018

TAMPA — Millenial Miguel Camacho is a hero to the family that spent five days searching for their stolen dog Zeus. And he saved the day in the most millenial way possible: By checking Facebook on his phone.

Camacho was in a West Tampa park on Thursday, studying for a test that evening for his journeyman electrician's license. He finished early. So he did what most millennials with some time to kill would do: He took out his phone and started scrolling through Facebook.

Previous coverage: A pet detective is helping track a famous dog missing from a Skyway beach

A friend shared an article about a kiteboarding dog. He clicked on it.

He learned the 7-year-old, 17-pound black and white dog had been reportedly stolen on Sunday by a white man in his 60s or 70s in a gray sedan.

While he was reading, a gray sedan pulled up near him. Out walked a white man in his 60s or 70s, Camacho said. Then he pulled a black and white Jack Russell Terrier out from the car.

"I was sitting there, reading the article," Camacho said. "The guy pulls up, gets out the car, grabs the dog and I'm thinking, man this looks just like that dog."

That dog was Zeus, and he comes from a famous family. Dimitri Maramenides is a world-renowned kiteboarder, and his 16-year-old son Cameron is Zeus' owner and a member of Team USA, which will compete in the 2020 Olympics. They were at a kiteboarding competition at the north Skyway Bridge beach.

Zeus, a kiteboarder himself, was hanging in the truck as he always does when the family goes to events. When they got back, he was gone.

The family contacted police, hired a pet detective and even offered a $3,500 reward for the return of Zeus — no questions asked. They just wanted their dog back.

Camacho hadn't even gotten to the part of the story about the $3,500 reward when he decided to take action. He took a photo of Zeus with his phone and sent it to the number listed in the story at about 4:55 p.m.

"Hey man, that's my dog," Cameron Maramenides told him over the phone.

The police were called, but said they could do nothing without the dog's owner present. Cameron Maramenides asked Camacho if he could keep on an eye on Zeus and his apparent abductor. But it was getting close to test time. Still, Camacho said he could hear the pain of their loss in the family's voices. He wanted to help.

Camacho got in his car and followed the gray sedan for a few miles. Then the driver stopped, got out and asked Camacho why he was following him.

"I believe that dog isn't yours," Camacho said he told him. "I'm on the phone with his owner right now."

Camacho then walked to the gray sedan and called out the name "Zeus." The dog jumped up and ran to him, Camacho said, and together they drove off. He was going to miss his test.

A short while later, Camacho and Zeus met the Maramenides family in a parking lot at WestShore Plaza.

"We are feeling completely exhausted, yet elated and we are still pinching ourselves to see if we are dreaming," said Helen Trotman, wife of Dimitri Maramenides. "We are so fortunate Miguel was there and was willing to put himself into a possible dangerous situation to get our dog back."

Trotman said they gave police some information about the driver of the gray sedan but don't know how they'll proceed.

"We just really want to make sure he doesn't do this to another family," she said.

Camacho learned about the reward when he met the family. He was to pick up his cash on Friday, and he already knew how he's going to spend it.

"I have two kids," he said. "I'm gonna do some Christmas shopping for them and put the rest in their savings accounts."

And his professor let him re-take the test once he explained what happened.

Contact Daniel Figueroa IV at Follow @danuscripts.


  1. Maurice A. Ferré at his Miami home earlier this year. JOSE A. IGLESIAS  |  Miami Herald
    He served as mayor for 12 years and set the stage for Miami to become an international city.
  2. Lilly Beth Rodriguez, left, Laura Robertson and Linda Lamont work on a Habitat for Humanity house in north Pasco. [Times (2013)]
    The increase is expected to happen in the first half of next year. CEO hopes other nonprofits follow suit.
  3. Terry Spencer carries his daughter, Trinity, through high water on 59th Street near Stewart Road in Galveston, Texas, Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019, as heavy rain from Tropical Depression Imelda caused street flooding on the island. JENNIFER REYNOLDS  |  AP
    Although the amount of predicted rainfall is massive — forecasters say some places could see 40 inches or more this week.
  4. This April 2001 photo, which appeared in a newsletter from the West Point Grey Academy, shows a costumed Justin Trudeau, his face and hands darkened by makeup, attending an "Arabian Nights" gala. The academy is a private school in Vancouver, B.C., where Trudeau worked as a teacher before entering politics. (West Point Grey Academy/The Canadian Press via AP)
    A few Southern politicians responded to similar scandals recently with denials, apologies, and promises. Most of them have managed to stay in office.
  5. The number of single-family homes sold in the Tampa Bay area during August rose 2.8 percent when compared with the same month last year, according to a monthly report from Florida Realtors. (Times file photo)
    The midpoint price in the bay area rose to $250,000, which is still lower than the state and national median prices.
  6. This April 14, 2019 file photo shows a western meadowlark in the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Wildlife Refuge in Commerce City, Colo. According to a study released on Thursday, Sept. 19, 2019, North America’s skies are lonelier and quieter as nearly 3 billion fewer wild birds soar in the air than in 1970. Some of the most common and recognizable birds are taking the biggest hits, even though they are not near disappearing yet. The population of eastern meadowlarks has shriveled by more than three-quarters with the western meadowlark nearly as hard hit. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski) DAVID ZALUBOWSKI  |  AP
    “People need to pay attention to the birds around them because they are slowly disappearing,” said the study’s lead author.
  7. Michael Robert-Jose Harbaugh has pleaded guilty in the 2017 slaying of Safety Harbor neighbor David Sommer, a former reporter. Harbaugh also pleaded guilty to a charge he tried to have a witness in the case killed. [Pinellas County Sheriff's Office]
    Michael Harbaugh, 42, also pleaded guilty to trying to have a fellow inmate kill a witness in the murder case.
  8. Rep. Susan Valdes, D-Tampa, during a Feb. 7, 2019, meeting of the House PreK-12 Appropriations subcommittee. [The Florida Channel]
    ‘One test should not determine the rest of your life,’ Rep. Susan Valdes says.
  9. The Aldi store located on 1551 34th St N, St. Petersburg, Florida in 2018, features its updated layout. JONES, OCTAVIO   |  Tampa Bay Times
    The store will re-open after renovations on Thursday, Sept. 26
  10. Vice President Joe Biden, right, talks to supporters as former Florida Gov. Charlie Crist, left, stands near during a campaign stop at at Century Village in Boca Raton, Fla., Monday, Oct. 13, 2014. Crist is locked in a tight race against Gov. Rick Scott in one of the most negative gubernatorial campaigns in Florida history. The two disagree on most major issues, including health care, the minimum wage, Cuba policy, gay marriage and medical marijuana. (AP Photo/Alan Diaz) ORG XMIT: FLAD102 ALAN DIAZ  |  AP
    The Florida Republican-turned-Democrat said Biden’s ‘record of getting things done speaks for itself.’