Crime

Former Miami Beach commission candidate accused of threats against gays, church

The Miami Beach Community Church
The Miami Beach Community Church MIAMI HERALD STAFF

A former Miami Beach city commission candidate has been arrested after police said he repeatedly used social media to threaten violence against a prominent South Beach church.

Joseph Jorczak, 34, was arrested for aggravated stalking and violating a restraining order filed by the reverend at the venerated Miami Beach Community Church.

He was arrested at his South Beach apartment Wednesday, and made his first court appearance Thursday and posted a $6,000 bond before his release from jail.

In various posts, according to an arrest report, Jorczak said someone had finally sold him an AR-15 rifle and referenced the Orlando mass shooting that killed 49 club goers at the Pulse nightclub earlier this year.

“Orlando will look small to what is coming to Miami Beach specifically the Miami Beach Community Church,” he wrote in one post.

Jorczak ran for city commission last year, describing himself as a volunteer at the church. He later withdrew from the race. He could not be reached for comment Thursday and no lawyer was listed on his court records.

Earlier this year, the church’s reverend, Harold Thompson, obtained a restraining order against Jorczak, who has been repeatedly accused of violating the court’s order.

On his posts on Facebook, Jorczak repeatedly writes slurs against gays, President Barack Obama and rails against police and Miami Beach’s government.

On Facebook last month, he has posted a police report showing he was warned to stay out of Miami Beach City Hall. The reason: He made “inappropriate comments” to employees while asking about paperwork to get a petition to re-name Fifth Street to “Muhammad Ali Drive.”

On his Facebook page, Jorczak also references a battle with cancer, “tumors” returning and his possible death.

Thompson said the church had tried to help Jorczak deal with his medical issues. “I think he’s in a lot of pain. We continue to pray for him,” the reverend told the Miami Herald. “We continue to pray for him and hope he improves.”

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