A Miami Beach mayoral candidate known for ranting about knife fights with Osama bin Laden and a friendship with John F. Kennedy drew notice Monday from the U.S. Secret Service.
With President Barack Obama on South Beach for a fundraiser, Raphael Herman showed up at Miami Beach City Hall bloodied and screaming, according to witnesses, and then called the Secret Service to say he knew where Obama was staying and would pay him a visit.
The Secret Service contacted Herman Monday night by fax and asked to speak with him, according to a release by Miami Beach police.
A message left for a Secret Service spokesman in Miami was not immediately returned.
Herman, who is 63 and claims to be an Israeli commando, is eccentric even by Miami Beach standards. A perennial candidate, he is now on his sixth bid to become mayor.
According to police, Herman told officers that he was roughed up Monday by a city firefighter while leaving a fire station near 17th Street and Meridian Avenue. According to a police statement, Herman then placed a phone call to the Secret Service, saying "he knew where the president was staying and wanted the president to see him with blood on his face."
Herman left City Hall, called police about 5:30 p.m., then refused to open the door to officers when they visited him at his home. Herman demanded the Secret Service fax him a written request to speak with him, which agents did.
According to police, the Secret Service was assessing the situation, but "did not believe a credible threat existed.''
Herman called a Miami Herald reporter Monday evening after the incident, claiming city firefighters and police are trying to kill him.
"They are trying to assassinate me," he said.
Read more at MiamiHerald.com