Marc Sarnoff Accused of Assaulting His Propane-Huffing Heckler on Video

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This is Miami, so of course just days before an election, one of the most powerful and controversial city commissioners is accused of assaulting a propane-huffing man in front of his house.

Reid Welch says City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff assaulted him. Sarnoff says he was merely protecting his elderly neighbors from a threatening Welch.

Welch has become quite an active antagonist of Sarnoff's and began removing what he considered Sarnoff's illegally placed re-election signs around Coconut Grove in August. He's made plenty of YouTube videos documenting his Sarnoff-sign-removal exploits and has had on-camera confrontations with the commissioner.

Oh, and yes, Welch has admitted that most of the time he's heckling Sarnoff he's also high after huffing propane: "I inhale propane gas to get high, but I am not the least bit nutty," he's told New Times. As propane and propane accessories expert Hank Hill might say, "That boy ain't right."

Around 6 p.m. Saturday, 57-year-old Welch was pulling down and spray-painting signs in front of Sarnoff's home.

That's when Sarnoff says he saw Welch threatening his neighbor.

"As I approached him, I saw that he was pointing the spray can at her," Sarnoff told NBC Miami. "I know that he has box cutters because he has box cutters in his pockets all the time. I became concerned. I took him down and got him in a position that he couldn't harm anyone and waited for the authorities to come."

During the scuffle, Welch spray-painted Sarnoff.

Welch has also posted video of the moments leading up to and after the incident.



In the video, Welch removes signs from Sarnoff's yard using a stick and then tries to remove one and spray-paint it.

That's when Sarnoff comes out. Welch says he was tackled unprovoked.

Police are investigating the incident.

Sarnoff is up for re-election to his third term Tuesday. He faces four challengers: Williams Armbrister, Kate Callahan, Donna Milo, and Michelle Niemeyer.

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11 comments
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Milz Lizardo
Milz Lizardo

Is it just me, or should Milo disclose that she is a transsexual?  Honestly, why hide it - we're in Miami.

Commissioner Greed
Commissioner Greed

Sarnoff taking $450,000+ from low life lobbyists is the crime. Sarnoff is a danger to society.

loveboat2010
loveboat2010

Welch has never hurt anyone and he is known in the grove as a "Character" like many other people.   Sarnoff should have dialed 911 and waited for the police not crossed the street and tackled a 60 year old man to the ground.   At no time did Welch threaten anyone according to the evidence presented.   

If this were any other citizen they would have been taken to jail.

WackoSignDude
WackoSignDude

Get this nutjob off the streets.  Putting a stick through a gate onto someone's private property is grounds for getting an ass beating.

I think this city has bigger problems than two signs on someone's property.

Tom Stedham
Tom Stedham

Could the New Times do a story about illegal campaign signs? I see them everywhere! Is it really "Illegal" to have more than one sign on a property; on public easement; etc.? If so, then could you do a story about this? It seems like a pretty open-and-shut case against Sarnoff, when you look at the videos. I saw the giant banner sign outside a restaurant. Aren't those illegal?

Sir Sausage
Sir Sausage

The first day of early voting, city hall had signs all over the swale near the entrance to the voting area.  They were spaced less than a foot apart and there were 20 - 30 of them.  A disproportionate number of Sarnoff signs were in that mess.

bigriggs
bigriggs

I'd say the druggie got what he deserved.

nevernot
nevernot

Then why didn't the police arrest him? Could it be that they didn't trust the commissioners side of the story? Could it be that they know Sarnoff is a outright compulsive liar? If they thought for one second that this man was a a danger he'd be locked up but instead they cited Sarnoff for assault.....

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