The North Miami mayoral race has seen allegations of Voodoo, political intrigue and personal attacks, and now police are investigating a physical attack on one of the seven candidates.
Officers arrested Blaise Felix, 58, Tuesday night at the campaign headquarters of candidate Jean Marcellus, after an attack that left the candidate with a bruised lip.
"We were just talking, he just attacked me and threw the punch and you can see the damage," said Marcellus, pointing to his swollen lip.
Marcellus, who is currently a city councilman, said he had been acquainted with his attacker, but wasn't clear on his name.
"The campaign is getting tough. There are so many tensions in the campaign," said Marcellus. "Fanatics sometimes get out of hand."
But Marcellus declined to describe the subject of the conversation he was having with Felix at the time of the attack, or whether it might have been motivated by politics or a personal issue.
According to campaign staffers, Felix arrived at the campaign office Tuesday night near Northeast 139th Street and Dixie Highway requesting to speak to Marcellus, who wasn't there at the time.
When Marcellus arrived an hour later, the two men went into a back office to talk. Some 15 minutes later, staffers heard a commotion.
"I heard something going on. I heard the councilman saying, 'Hey, man, take your hand off me,'" said campaign worker Louis Ricardo, who went back to investigate. "I saw him put the hands on councilman and punch the councilman."
Ricardo also said Felix lunged for a knife that was laying on a snack table, but was tackled by other campaign workers.
Felix was booked into the Dade County Jail charged with battery on a public official.