Marc Sarnoff Accused of Assaulting His Propane-Huffing Heckler on Video

This is Miami, so of course just days before an election, one of the most powerful and controversial city commissioners is accused of assaulting a propane-huffing man in front of his house.

Reid Welch says City of Miami Commissioner Marc Sarnoff assaulted him. Sarnoff says he was merely protecting his elderly neighbors from a threatening Welch.

Welch has become quite an active antagonist of Sarnoff's and began removing what he considered Sarnoff's illegally placed re-election signs around Coconut Grove in August. He's made plenty of YouTube videos documenting his Sarnoff-sign-removal exploits and has had on-camera confrontations with the commissioner.

Oh, and yes, Welch has admitted that most of the time he's heckling Sarnoff he's also high after huffing propane: "I inhale propane gas to get high, but I am not the least bit nutty," he's told New Times. As propane and propane accessories expert Hank Hill might say, "That boy ain't right."

Around 6 p.m. Saturday, 57-year-old Welch was pulling down and spray-painting signs in front of Sarnoff's home.

That's when Sarnoff says he saw Welch threatening his neighbor.

"As I approached him, I saw that he was pointing the spray can at her," Sarnoff told NBC Miami. "I know that he has box cutters because he has box cutters in his pockets all the time. I became concerned. I took him down and got him in a position that he couldn't harm anyone and waited for the authorities to come."

During the scuffle, Welch spray-painted Sarnoff.

Welch has also posted video of the moments leading up to and after the incident.

In the video, Welch removes signs from Sarnoff's yard using a stick and then tries to remove one and spray-paint it.

That's when Sarnoff comes out. Welch says he was tackled unprovoked.

Police are investigating the incident.

Sarnoff is up for re-election to his third term Tuesday. He faces four challengers: Williams Armbrister, Kate Callahan, Donna Milo, and Michelle Niemeyer.

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