Man arrested for defacing campaign sign criticizes candidate
MIAMI (WSVN) -- The South Florida man arrested Saturday for allegedly defacing a sign for Miami Commissioner Francis Suarez's mayoral run said he tagged the political advertisement because the candidate used an image of graffiti artist Israel Hernandez's image in a campaign tweet.
Kevin Young, who bonded out of jail Sunday morning, said he takes full responsibility for his actions. "I'm not saying it's the wisest thing I've ever done, but I'm here to stand up and stand by and take responsibility for it," he said.
Besides scratching out Suarez's name, Young also wrote "R.I.P. Reefa" in honor of Hernandez, who died Aug. 6 after being struck by a Miami Beach Police Taser. Police said the sign had the word "fraud" over his first name, with slashes over "for Miami mayor."
Suarez caught flack earlier in the week for sending out a tweet containing his political message with Hernandez's picture. Young contends the Miami commissioner exploited Hernandez for personal gain. "If it was me, and I had died and some politician tried to use my name for political capital, I'd want the people who supported the stuff that I did to go after that politician," he said.
On Thursday Suarez called the tweet a non-story. "I was basically expressing solidarity with the family of the young man who lost his life," he said.
His opponent, Mayor Tomás Regalado, said Suarez's actions display a lack of judgment. "It's something that is unthinkable to use in a campaign."
Young has been charged with criminal mischief.
Suarez released a statement regarding Young, Sunday, to 7News which read: "I accept his apology that he took responsibility for his actions. I am focused on my message and platform, such as increasing the number of patrolling officers to address high crime and bringing new industries to the city, such as technology and entertainment industries to address high unemployment."
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