MIAMI — A member of an anti-Semitic group was arrested in Miami after he refused to follow police commands during a traffic stop, authorities said.
The group calls itself the Goyim Defense League and regularly engages in stunts to harass Jewish people, the Miami Herald reported. Last week, they were in central Florida protesting at a Holocaust education center.
The men had been spotted earlier Thursday using markers to scrawl swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs on a white van, he Herald reported.
Police stopped them hours later in an unrelated incident, and Joseph Bounds, 33, of Denver, Colorado, stepped out of the van and into the median, where he started recording the scene, an arrest report said.
A police sergeant ordered Bounds three times to step away from traffic, but he refused, the report said, so he was charged with misdemeanor resisting a police officer without violence and failure to obey a police officer.
The Anti-Defamation League has identified Bounds as part of the group, the newspaper reported. He was being held in the Miami-Dade County jail on Friday morning, and records did not list a lawyer for him.
Jewish leaders in South Florida were alarmed by the group’s appearances. “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.
Todd Amelung-Wilson told the Herald that he and his sister saw the group marking up the van hours earlier.
“To see actual Nazis gleefully writing on their presumably rented van was just shocking,” he said. “They seemed pretty proud of themselves ... We were really shaken.”