The setting was a fancy neighborhood in a Latin American metropolis. [Albert] Torres was walking with a few friends by a street where a fancy private party was going on when a couple arrived in a luxury car and mistook them for the valet parking attendants.
Torres and his friends wasted no time. They ceremoniously greeted the couple, bade them welcome, got into the car and drove away. It took them only a few hours to dismantle the vehicle, and many days of hard partying to spend the money they made selling the parts.
"I've been sober for 13 years and I'm a new person now," said the physically imposing but affable Torres at Studio City's Sportsmen's Lodge, the hotel where he organizes salsa evenings every Friday. "I've come a long way since those days."