SWEETWATER, FLA. (WSVN) - Police have arrested a man days after, they said, he staged a shooting of the campaign minivan for a Sweetwater commissioner who is running for mayor, then claimed someone opened fire at the vehicle while he was behind the wheel.

7News cameras captured Sweetwater Police officers taking Ricardo Rodríguez into custody, late Thursday afternoon.

The Honda Odyssey in the incident was used to display posters for Sweetwater Commissioner Jose Diaz, who is running against sitting Mayor Orlando Lopez in a runoff election set for next Tuesday.

Investigators said Rodríguez, a volunteer with Diaz’s campaign, filed a police report stating someone shot at his minivan near Southwest 109th Avenue and Sixth Street, Sunday.

Two bullet holes pierced the driver’s door of the minivan.

But on Thursday, Sweetwater Police Chief Placido Diaz said the entire incident was fabricated.

“If the facts don’t match, and there are huge inconsistencies in the statements, and we can prove that it didn’t happen, you weren’t there, he filed a false police report, and you’re gonna go to jail,” said the police chief.

Rodríguez is being charged with filing a false police report and disorderly conduct.

As he was being led to a police cruiser in handcuffs, Rodríguez maintained his innocence.

When asked whether police had a reason to arrest him, Rodríguez replied in Spanish, “Of course not. I haven’t done anything.”

When asked why officers took him into custody, he said, “Because they felt like it.”

Speaking with reporters on Thursday, Lopez addressed Rodríguez’s arrest.

“Either he did it on his own, or somebody convinced him to give those statements,” he said. “He’s the only one that knows the truth of what happened here.”

Lopez said he had a hunch Rodríguez’s story was bogus. He suspects Tuesday’s runoff election might have had something to do with it.

“This was a poor stunt that they probably never thought was going to go criminal the way it did,” he said.

But his opponent said he believes something else may be going on here.

“I think that this could be a manipulation of the police department just to bring up his rating,” said Diaz.

The police chief said they had enough probable cause to arrest the driver.

“All I can tell you is that the video and the evidence does not lie,” he said.

When asked who he thinks was behind the shooting, Rodríguez said, “What do I know about who is guilty?”

Detectives said they do not believe Diaz was involved.

The candidate denied being behind the incident.

“I would never perpetrate such a thing,” he said.

Investigators said Rodríguez’s motivation is unknown at this time.

“I don’t know what his motivation was. I don’t know whether he was talked into doing this or not,” said Placido Diaz. “This is for him to answer in the courts and in front of the justice system.”

Rodríguez was taken to the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade but is expected to bond out.

Police continue to investigate.

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