|Philip "Gomer Pyle" Levine.|
Levine, apparently channeling his inner Gomer Pyle, is said to have become enraged at the sight of a Coca Cola truck double-parked on Washington Avenue earlier this week. Levine allegedly climbed into the cab of the truck and snatched the keys from the ignition.
One source tells me, "The rumor is that there was a Coca Cola truck double-parked and the Mayor went inside the cab, took out the key and refused to give it back to the driver until an officer arrived to issue a citation."
On a message board frequented by Miami Beach police officers, someone offered the opinion that Levine may have committed the crime of "burglary to a conveyance."
Levine apparently forgot that just a few short months ago, he sang the praises of Coke at a "press conference" as he took delivery of a commemorative, limited-edition six-pack of the sugary poison as a part of the city's 100th birthday celebration.
(Watch the press conference by clicking here ... if only to see Levine at his smarmiest and most oleaginous.)
If the details of the alleged Washington Avenue incident are true, it wouldn't be out of character for Levine, an admitted micromanager who's been known to act like douchebag from time to time.
On December 6, 2013, Levine, who had been in office less than two weeks, showed up at the Star Island home of millionaire Thomas Kramer for a private party.
Unable to get in, Levine soon found himself part of an unruly mob of gate crashers on the street in front of Kramer's home. Police were called and that's when things got ugly.
Unable to get in, Levine texted Kramer.
Kramer responded by calling police and parking enforcement officers to his home.
Cops showed up and talked to Kramer. He told them he wanted the party crashers gone and their vehicles removed.
Cops then went back outside and told the crowd to disperse. The unruly mob responded by ignoring the order, and some continued to attempt to get inside. A few in the crowd "physically pushed the officers."
At some point, one of the officers, Giordano Cardoso, unholstered his Taser, and after removing the cartridge, aimed it at the ground and fired three short bursts or "warning arcs."
According to a just released police department Internal Affairs report on the incident [embedded below], after hearing the Taser, "the crowd began to disperse and obey the officers."
In a May 2014 story on the incident, the Miami Herald reported ...
[An] investigation of the Dec. 6 incident was instigated by then newly elected Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine, who told a police supervisor on the scene that officer Giordano Cardoso’s actions were "out of control" when he used his Taser to disperse a crowd trying to get into Kramer’s Star Island home.
Though Levine initiated the investigation into Cardoso, the report said he chose not to speak to investigators or give a formal statement. The mayor told the Miami Herald on Tuesday that he spoke with someone at the police department the day after the incident, but did not recall who. The internal affairs report said police made several attempts to talk to the mayor.
And then there's this from the most recent issue of Ocean Drive Magazine:
“Anyone who knows me knows I’m a pothole mayor,” Levine says with a laugh, insisting that he thrives on micromanaging, even down to personally intervening in roadwork. He recalls driving down the Beach’s Alton Road during last December’s Art Basel.
Suddenly he was greeted with the sight of an orange menace: “They’d put cones up in one lane! I got out of the car and I personally threw all the cones onto the sidewalk. [I then] called the CEO of the construction company and the [city’s] director of public works,” he continues with a grimace. “They responded by saying that it was a total mistake; they’d get the cones cleared in one hour. I told them not to worry because I’d gotten it done in three minutes.”
A Miami Beach Police Department spokesperson told me this afternoon that he had no knowledge of Monday's alleged incident involving the Mayor.
The spokesperson told me he would look into the allegation and asked me to email a request for more information.