COCOA, Fla. - A state representative says he was stalked, harassed, and ambushed by neo-Nazis at an event in Brevard County.
State Representative Randy Fine, R-Palm Bay, is still shaken up but is also considering more legislation to combat antisemitism in the state.
The Brevard County Sheriff’s Office responded to a disturbance call at the Space Coast Convention Center on Wednesday after people were concerned with the demonstrators. Fine was scheduled to speak at a women's Republican event but says the neo-Nazis showed up unexpectedly and harassed the politician and attendees.
"I think the Nazis are escalating, and we have to do what you do to Nazis - end them," Rep. Fine said.
The politician is still trying to process the unsettling encounter.
- Neo-Nazi demonstrator arrested for hanging swastika flags
- Two more Neo-Nazi demonstrators arrested after hanging banners over interstate
"I was shaken up because of the notion that people are stalking me," he added. "Some guy literally jumped out of the bushes and ran up to me with a camera."
Fine is Jewish and is the one who helped create the state's new law, aimed at prosecuting hate crimes in Florida.
"I may introduce a new law that makes it legal to punch a Nazi," he added after dealing with the unsettling situation.
Fine says he deserves to be safe. He adds that the neo-Nazi’s behavior will end up costing taxpayers and is now considering more security when he travels to events.
"I never had, but I am telling you it is something I am in discussion. It will be public security paid for by the taxpayer," Fine said.
The demonstrators didn’t only approach the politician before the event. They stayed until it ended. Attendees say the group of men approached them in masks at first.
"We’ve never had a group sit here for hours just to harass people as they’re walking to their cars," said Katie Delaney who was approached by the demonstrators.
"It was definitely concerning. We see it on TV all the time but not really around here," added Kerry Takacs who was also handed antisemitic flyers.
Both of the women are concerned with the harassment and handouts.
"It’s not welcome here. This is America," Takacs added.
The lawmaker says he’s looking into the issue because public safety is at risk.
"Somebody’s going to get hurt if this continues, and I assure it – it won’t be me," Fine concluded.
The ordeal ended peacefully, and the demonstrators left the convention center when deputies arrived. Fine hasn’t decided on whether he’ll look into legal action.