Miami Police say 28-year-old Kevin Young was caught with a permanent marker in hand, writing letters over Suarez's name that spelled out the word 'fraud' on the sign that was in the area of Biscayne Boulevard and NE 34th Street. NBC 6's Gilma Avalos spoke with Suarez about the latest in a week of controversy for his campaign.
A man was arrested Friday night for defacing a Francis Suarez mayoral campaign sign, officials said.
Miami Police say 28-year-old Kevin Young was caught with a permanent marker in hand, writing letters over Suarez's name that spelled out the word 'fraud' on the sign that was in the area of Biscayne Boulevard and NE 34th Street.
"It's inexcusable that my opponent's campaign has resorted to destroying my signs," Suarez said. "What I want to focus on is the future of the city. "
Police said they don't know if Young has ties to any political campaign.
Also scrawled on the sign were the words "RIP Reefa," referencing the 18-year-old graffiti artist who died after Miami Beach police used a Taser on him, but it is unclear if Young wrote that as well.
Police say Israel Hernandez, who used the nickname 'Reefa,' ran from officers after he was caught spraying graffiti on an abandoned building on 71st Street and Collins Avenue in Miami Beach. When officers caught up with him, they say one of them used a Taser on the teen in his chest to subdue him for arrest, but he went into medical duress shortly afterwards.
Suarez was recently criticized by the president of Miami's Police Union for making a statement regarding Hernandez's death in a Facebook post.
The statement, posted Tuesday, calls Hernandez's death a "tragic event" and criticizes Mayor Tomas Regalado, without using his name.
"It is unfortunate that Commissioner Francis Suarez has chosen to utilize a sensitive situation in which someone has died on a paid political advertisement for Mayor to obtain votes," said Sgt. Javier Ortiz, president of the Miami Fraternal Order of Police.
Suarez says the message was misunderstood.
"It was not done with any intention to impact the family or make the family disconcerted or upset," he said.
But on Wednesday it was another social media post, not from the commissioner himself, but from one of his staffers, that raised eyebrows.
Administrative assistant and campaign aide Christina Haramboure, 24, sent this tweet Monday:
"Dear Constituents... PLEASE GET A LIFE, A HOBBY, A LOBOTOMY ... whatever.”
Haramboure was fired for the tweets.
"The question is not whether you have a bad week, but how you react to it and you have to confront it," Suarez said in regards to the offensive tweets. "And when things happen that are not appropriate, you have to take appropriate reaction. That's leadership."
Meanwhile, Young is being held on criminal mischief charges along with a hold for an outstanding fugitive warrant from Monroe County, police said.
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