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MIAMI (CBSMiami) — The lawyer for a man accused of threatening Miami Beach city workers and cops is calling this simply a case of free speech.
Ricky Weinberger, 54, was in court Monday for violating an injunction.
Weinberger is accused of harassing Miami Beach Police officers with violent and vile threats, through phone calls to the police station, as well as posts on his own social media and a law enforcement site.
While he didn’t show up in court Tuesday morning, his attorney argued Weinberger’s rights are being violated under the first amendment.
“They’re claiming he made lots of threats online. But is this free speech,” asked defense attorney Noel Flasterstein in court. “When is this actually actionable? They said he made threats to city officials, to hotels, or harassment. But I think it has to be when there’s no intent or no purpose, if you’re calling somebody and bothering them just for the sake of bothering them. He actually had some disputes with the hotel. He actually had some disputes with the city employees. So I think we got, one, freedom of speech concerns. Two, is this injunction, in which this new charge is flowing, even valid? This is coming… they want to lock him up, from somebody who allegedly posted stuff online. How did they know it was even his posts?”
Inside Weinberger’s apartment, police found 4,500 rounds of ammunition and 16 guns, including six assault rifles.
Police picked him up for violating an injunction they filed a year ago when he was arrested for repeatedly making threatening and lewd phone calls to Miami Beach city employees.
The judge found that there was reasonable cause to hold the 54-year-old while he faces three open criminal cases.