MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A man was captured on cellphone video defacing a monument in Miami Beach’s entertainment district, and some believe it may have been the same man from months earlier.
Witnesses who watched the vandal on Thursday believe he may be the same person who was videoed inscribing writing onto the monument with a mini blowtorch.
“Well, I guess he didn’t learn his lesson,” witness Miguel Blanco said. “He was doing it all over again.”
Blanco videoed the man marking up the Lummus Park sign along Ocean Drive.
On June 15, a man was also seen marking up the monument.
When asked if he is pretty sure it is the same man in the two videos, Blanco said, “One hundred percent it was the same guy.”
Blanco works at the iconic Palace South Beach, across the street from the monument.
“A couple of co-workers and I saw him and decided to record it again,” Blanco said. “We need more police here, so people know they can come and feel safe here.”
Miami Beach Police said they received no calls about the defacing of the monument, which was done, according to Blanco, with toothpaste.
Ryan Trentler, 45, was arrested for criminal mischief, an offense he has been convicted of twice, following the June incident. He explained what he had used to the judge during bond court.
“I lit a wine bottle cork on fire and made chalk out of it,” he said.
Thursday’s incident happened on the same day Miami Beach commissioners called for more officers in South Beach, along with other measures. The meeting comes weeks removed after a 21-year-old tourist was killed in broad daylight in front of his family.
“High-level visibility, police officers out on the street interacting with the community,” Miami Beach Commissioner Steven Meiner said.
Police said people who see vandalism should give them a call right away.
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