A Miami boat captain and his sister were driving on a street near Coconut Grove on Thursday afternoon when they saw a group of men using markers to scrawl on a van with swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs. Shocked, they turned around to video-record them — and at least six men began raising their arms in the Nazi salute.
“To see actual Nazis gleefully writing on their presumably rented van was just shocking,” Todd Amelung-Wilson said. “They seemed pretty proud of themselves … We were really shaken.”
The bizarre encounter happened on Southwest 27th Street near 24th Avenue in Miami about 1:30 p.m. Miami police later arrested one of the men during an unrelated traffic stop.
The man, Joseph Bounds, 33, of Denver, Colorado, was charged with misdemeanor resisting a police officer without violence and failure to obey a police officer.
According to a police arrest report, an officer had stopped the van on Biscayne Boulevard at Northeast First Street about 3:40 p.m. when Bounds stepped out and into the middle of the street to video record the encounter. A Miami police sergeant “gave him 3 lawful commands to step away from traffic” and he repeatedly refused, according the report.
The men are part of a small virulently anti-Semitic group called the Goyim Defense League, which regularly engages in stunts to harass Jewish people and have been in Florida this month. Last week, they were in Central Florida protesting at a Holocaust education center. The Anti-Defamation League has identified Bounds as part of the group.
Their arrival in South Florida has alarmed local Jewish leaders, which circulated warnings about the group this week.
“It is imperative that no matter what they say you DO NOT ENGAGE them in any way, even though it may be very tempting to do so,” one warning circulated online said. “The goal, our goal, is to simply ignore them and to avoid a confrontation of any kind. Be aware that various law enforcement enforcement agencies are engaged in gathering intelligence and making sure that everything stays peaceful.”
Read the complete article at: Miami Herald