Police: 7 arrested after Columbus, Ponce De Leon statues vandalized in downtown Miami
MIAMI – Seven people were arrested Wednesday after two statues were vandalized in downtown Miami during a protest.
The damaged Christopher Columbus and Juan Ponce De Leon statues are located outside Bayside Marketplace.
According to Miami police, a group of protesters were in the area of Biscayne Boulevard and Fourth Street Wednesday when authorities saw several people spray painting the statues.
Police said several protesters assaulted officers while they were trying to arrest the suspects and damaged a police vehicle.
A total of seven of the protesters were arrested, police said.
They were identified Thursday as Jason Lewis, 30, of Miami; Christian Diaz, 25, of Miami; Manuel Roman, 29, of Miami Beach; Edwin Guzman, 20, of Lake Worth; Alaa Ali Massri, 18, of Miami Beach; Joseph Martinez II, 28, of Miami; and Stephon Lin, 20, of Fort Worth, Texas.
They face various charges, including unlawful assembly to commit a breach of peace, resisting an officer, disorderly conduct, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, incite to riot and criminal mischief.
One of the suspects is accused of smashing a police car windshield with a skateboard and several others are accused of previously defacing property at Bayside Marketplace.
Others protesting in the area Wednesday said they came for a peaceful demonstration.
“I came here to stand in solidarity,” one protester said.
Authorities said the peaceful protesters were not arrested.
“In the City of Miami, we support peaceful protests but there will be zero tolerance for those who hide behind the peaceful protesters to incite riots, damage property, and hurt members of the public or our officers,” the police department said in a statement.
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Republished by the Law Office of Scott A. Ferris, P.A.