Man Seen in Van Covered in Neo-Nazi Hate Graffiti Arrested in Florida

A man who is accused of being part of a group driving around in a van covered with antisemitic and neo-Nazi slogans has been arrested.

Joseph Bounds, 33, of Denver, Colorado, was arrested on suspicion of resisting a police officer without violence and failure to obey a police officer after being pulled over in Miami, Florida, on Thursday afternoon.

Bounds is accused of getting out the vehicle in the middle of the road to video record the encounter with the officer conducting a traffic stop on Biscayne Boulevard at Northeast First Street at around 3:30 p.m. local time.

According to a police report seen by the Miami Herald, a police sergeant gave Bounds "3 lawful commands to step away from traffic." He allegedly repeatedly refused.

Bounds is reported to be part of anti-Semitic group known as the Goyim Defense League, which has reportedly been seen harassing Jewish people and organizations in recent weeks in Florida.

According to the Anti-Defamation League, which identifies Bounds as being part of the group, the Goyim Defense League is a small group of "virulently anti-Semitic provocateurs" who engage in stunts and schemes targeting Jewish people.

Todd Amelung-Wilson described seeing the van Bounds was traveling in just a few hours before his arrest. After getting his phone out to record it, several men gave a Nazi salutes towards him.

"To see actual Nazis gleefully writing on their presumably rented van was just shocking," Amelung-Wilson told the Miami Herald. "They seemed pretty proud of themselves ... We were really shaken."

The same van, featuring the slogans "Hitler was right" and "goy power"—the term goy being a Hebrew word for a non-Jewish person—was spotted at a pro-Israel rally in Boca Raton, Florida, on Wednesday.

Tweeting a video on the incident, Rabbi Efrem Goldberg of the Boca Raton Synagogue, said: "We rally for peace and this van filled with hate, call for genocide and threats kept circling.

"Thank you to our local law enforcement for keeping us safe. Hard to believe in the heart of Boca Raton if I didn't see it myself."

We rally for peace and this van filled with hate, call for genocide and threats kept circling. Thank you to our local law enforcement for keeping us safe. Hard to believe in the heart of Boca Raton if didn’t see it myself. pic.twitter.com/SuuOBEtumd

— Rabbi Efrem Goldberg (@RabbiGoldberg) May 12, 2021

According to Jared Holt, a reporter who covers domestic extremism, one of the men who was inside the van at the time was far-right activist and former Proud Boy member Jovanni Valle, also known as Jovi Val.

Last week, the same group allegedly took part in an antisemitic demonstration outside the Holocaust Memorial Resource & Education Center in Maitland, Florida.

The Holocaust Center tweeted that group arrived in a van "decorated with Holocaust denial and hate filled messages" and attempted to enter the property.

After being moved by security, the men held up antisemitic signs, handed out flyers to passing vehicles and used a megaphone to express "disgusting rhetoric" and propaganda.

Val identified himself as being part of the demonstration in a message on encrypted messaging service app Telegram.

"You may think this was a small event, that these people exist only on the fringes, that we should ignore it, but there is a cancer in our society that is hatred and bigotry and unfortunately it is not going away. It is not just history. It is happening here and now," the Holocaust Center tweeted.

"We recognize this as a clear demonstration of the necessity of our mission. We continue to be dedicated to the importance of our work to build a just and caring community free of all forms of prejudice and bigotry."

Miami Police have been contacted for comment.

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(File photo) A prohibition sign with a swastika is seen on the bonnet of a car during a demonstration near the fairground in Dresden, eastern Germany on April 10, 2021. A man who is accused of being part of a group harassing Jews in Florida has been arrested. JENS SCHLUETER/AFP/Getty Images