Propane-Huffing Reid Welch Found Guilty of Stalking Miami Commissioner Marc Snaroff
"I inhale propane gas to get high, but I am not the least bit nutty," Reid Welch once told New Times.
Today a jury found differently. Welch has a had a number bizarre run-ins with the high-profile City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff. The court found him guilty of 21 separate charges, including one felony charge of stalking.
The incidents started when Welch claims he was beaten by City of Miami police for using crack cocaine. In 2010, he asked Sarnoff, a practicing lawyer, to represent him in a suit against the department, but Sarnoff declined, citing a conflict of internet.
Over a year-and-half Welch then went on to send Sarnoff 700 emails, made hundreds of phone calls, hung around Sarnoff's Coconut Grove house, and often filmed and posted his encounters with Sarnoff and his wife online. When Sarnoff was running for reelection in 2011, Welch made it a personal vendetta to tear down campaign signs that he felt were illegally placed.
Then just a few days before the election, Sarnoff and Welch got into a physical tussle during which Welch spray painted Sarnoff.
That resulted in a court injunction that dictated Welch must stay away from and stop all contact with Sarnoff. Welch was arrested for breaking that injunction in 2012 after sending the commish an electronic message.
According to CBS Miami, a jury today found Welch guilty one count of aggravated stalking, a felony charge, and 10 counts of violating an injunction ordering him to stay away from the commissioner and 10 counts of making threatening phone calls. He could face up to 11 years in prison.