Man in anti-Semitic group with swastikas on van arrested in Miami

Charge dropped, but visit by group raised concerns

A man's arrest on a misdemeanor during a traffic stop was just part of a van's trip to multiple area locations carrying anti-Semitic messages.

MIAMI-DADE COUNTY, Fla. – A charge was dropped Friday against a man identified as a member of an anti-Semitic group who a day earlier was arrested in Miami when police say he refused to follow their commands during a traffic stop.

The group was spotted scrawling swastikas and anti-Semitic slurs on a white van.

Police later stopped the van Thursday, and officers say 33-year-old Joseph Bounds of Denver, Colorado stepped out of the vehicle and refused orders to step away from traffic.

Bounds was arrested for alleged misdemeanor resisting a police officer without violence and failure to obey orders.

Joseph Bounds, 33 of Denver, was taken in on a misdemeanor for allegedly resisting a police officer without violence and failure to obey orders.

Officials say Bounds is part of a small virulently anti-Semitic group called the Goyim Defense League. (Goy is a not-so-nice word in Yiddish meaning non-Jew.)

Bounds was released around 1 p.m. Friday and spoke to a Local 10 News crew, saying he believed he was “illegally detained” and didn’t commit a crime.

“I witnessed a traffic stop and I tried to film it,” Bounds said as he left jail. “A sergeant asked me to back up so I did and then he arrested me when I got about a foot away. Behind my back. I had my back turned when he arrested me.”

Police say Bounds ignored their directions multiple times to get out of the way and back up, so he was taken into custody.

The arrest took place at Biscayne Boulevard and Northeast 1st Street, investigators say. But the anti-Semitic group was spotted in other areas of South Florida this week.

They were seen at a pro-Israel rally in Boca Raton with their van covered in writing that included the message “Hitler was right.”

On Tuesday, the group was in Dania Beach near the Holocaust Documentation and Education Center. The center was tipped off by law enforcement that they would be in the area and there were no issues.

When they were spotted Thursday in Miami, several members of the group were captured on video giving Nazi salutes.

About the Author:

Ian Margol joined the Local 10 News team in July 2016 as a general assignment reporter. Born in Miami Beach and raised in Broward County, Ian is thrilled to be back home in South Florida.