MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) – Police have arrested a man after he was captured on cellphone video burning markings onto the side of a Miami Beach monument with, what investigators called, a mini blowtorch.
Ryan Trentler, 45, appeared to burn some markings on the Lummus Park monument along Ocean Drive on Tuesday, according to Miami Beach Police.
Miguel Blanco, who works across the street from the monument at Palace, said he saw the man in the act, began recording it on his cellphone and called police.
“I’m like, ‘You know what? No, I’m going to take a video of this,’” Blanco said. “I’m lucky enough to be blessed to work at Palace, which is an iconic place here in South Beach. I’ve been working here for years, and I’ve seen how bad things are getting little by little. I just feel like it’s time to say something because we cannot let our city go.”
Ahead of his arrest, Trentler appears to step back a few times to admire his work and also appeared to stretch in front of the markings. He has been charged with criminal mischief.
The 45-year-old appeared in Miami-Dade bond court on Wednesday. According to police, Trentler said he spontaneously said, “I was expressing myself,” but he had more to say to Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mindy Glazer.
“I didn’t even do a dollar worth of damage,” Trentler said in court. “Yeah, I lit a wine bottle cork on fire and made chalk out of it.”
The 45-year-old said he was essentially writing with ash, and that the markings would easily come off. However, police said his markings cost $1,000 in damages.
“I understand it may have looked a certain way, but I didn’t do any permanent damage to anything,” Trentler said.
“How long have you been living in Miami for?” Glazer asked.
“Since 1980, ma’am,” Trentler said.
Despite his court appearance on Wednesday, Trentler appears to want another court appearance for a later date.
“Ferguson vs. Maryland, I would like a grand jury hearing, please,” Trentler said.
It remains unknown if Trentler will be granted his request.
Trentler remains jailed at the Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center in West Miami-Dade on $5,000 bond.
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