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Punched for broadcasting MLK ‘Dream’ speech, victim speaks out

MIAMI – “If there’s one person we could all agree with, it’s Martin Luther King,” said Richard Dombroff.

At least that’s what the Miami resident thought when he decided to take a megaphone and broadcast MLK’s famous “I Have a Dream Speech” through the device as a peaceful form of protest in the middle of the city’s Midtown neighborhood.

“A lot of people responded really well to it. A lot of people came out on their balconies and they were clapping; they loved it,” Dombroff said.

Dombroff was broadcasting the speech in an open field across from the Tap 42 bar, according to the Miami Police Department. But less than five minutes later, two men, Marlon Samuel Munoz, 42, and James Butler, 51, left the bar to confront the man.

The arrest report says that one of the men said, “Turn that f---- s--- off.” When the Dombroff said “no” and walked away, one of the two men followed him and began to argue with him. As the dispute escalated, one of the men punched Dombroff in the nose and the other pushed him.

Marlon Samuel Munoz, left, and James Butler, right, were arrested after punching a protester in midtown Miami who was broadcasting MLK's speech on a megaphone.
Marlon Samuel Munoz, left, and James Butler, right, were arrested after punching a protester in midtown Miami who was broadcasting MLK's speech on a megaphone. (WPLG)

According to Officer Kiara Delva, a spokeswoman for the department, officers received the report about 5:30 p.m. and responded to First Avenue, between Northeast 35th and 34th streets.

“There was a large crowd at the location,” Delva said.

A witness said several men who saw the attack came to the victim’s aid, and the attackers walked away and back into Tap 42 at 3252 NE 1st Ave.

Dombroff, who was bleeding, also went into the restaurant, witnesses said.

Munoz and Butler were arrested by police and taken to jail. They were each charged with one count of battery. Both posted bond and were released.

Dombroff, who declined to speak about the details of the attack on advice from his attorney, said he hoped both men learn from the incident.

“It is easier to be peaceful; to be hateful takes a lot of effort. I pray for them. I 100 percent pray for them,” Drombroff said.

“It is freedom of speech and he has every right to peacefully say his opinion or broadcast whatever he wants,” Barbara Ortiz, who witnessed the attack, said.

Video showed nearby residents cheering from their balconies as the men were led away in handcuffs.

(Local10.com’s Andrea Torres contributed to this story)

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