Man arrested after trying to thwart public hate speech display

A Florida man tried to shut down a public display by a white nationalist only to find himself in handcuffs

Hate Speech
Luis Carlos Reyes confronts Patrick Little, who is known for trying to provoke people with hate speech. (Vocativ/Facebook)

A Florida man who confronted a white supremacist and dared to snatch a hateful sign he was holding while on a street corner, was arrested instead and charged with a crime, the Palm Beach Post reports. Meanwhile, a Facebook video of the incident has gone viral.

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The arrest of Luis Carlos Reyes sparked outrage on social media and the Boca Raton community after two journalists filmed the video and posted it online. Many called Reyes a “hero” for trying to shut down Patrick Little’s parade of hate as he spewed anti-Semitic rhetoric. Little is a self-proclaimed white nationalist.

In the Aug. 13 incident, Reyes approached Little and grabbed an inflammatory sign out of his hands that said “Jews rape kids.” Police said he also had a sign in his possession that read: “The Holocaust is a lie.” 

Once police arrived, Reyes was handcuffed and arrested. The 22-year-old was charged with two misdemeanors, simple battery and criminal mischief. Reyes told officers he “did not agree with Little portraying that message on a busy intersection,” the police report reads.

Little defended his incendiary sign saying he was protesting “child sex crimes in Israel,” the report says. “Reyes disagreed and told him the poster was not portraying that message,” the arrest report reads.

Little is a failed U.S. Senate candidate and said he plans to run for president in 2020.

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The Boca Raton police said he trolls street corners with signs as a “publicity stunt for money.” The video posted by Vocativ has received more than 400,000 views.

The Boca Raton police said Little claimed that he was assaulted by Reyes, who told the officers on the scene that he was offended by Little’s signs and tried to grab them.

Reyes was arrested for battery, the police said, but was released from the scene with a notice to appear in court on the charges. They added that Reyes has a record of traveling the country displaying incendiary messages in an attempt to provoke people. He also records the incidents on video. In this particular incident, an officer can be seen fist-pumping him, but they say it was an attempt to get Little’s cooperation.

“A person has the right to hold signs on public sidewalks,” said Boca Raton police spokeswoman Jessica Desir. “There were no complaints about the display before the incident occurred. We received a couple calls pertaining to the incident itself.”

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