I thought it would make an interesting photo; a man standing on the side of the road holding a giant fish in his hands.
Not that it’s uncommon to see people selling fish on the side of the roads in Miami, but this fish was especially huge, almost as large as the man’s body.
I drove by it, then decided it was worth making a u-turn to snap a photo, thinking it would be one of those “only in Miami” stories we love to tell.
I had no idea it would get me assaulted by some crazy lady.
I pulled into the grassy lot, stepped out of my car and walked out with my camera, identifying myself as a journalist for a local website, telling him this would make a great photo and interesting story.
Before I was able to snap a photo, he panicked, wrapped his body around the fish and placed it inside his truck, telling me I had no right to photograph it.
This from a guy who was holding it up on the intersection of Flagler Street and 76th Ave. on a Saturday afternoon, one block east of the Palmetto Expressway, easily one of the busiest streets in Miami.
He also had the word “freedom” printed on his shirt.
At this point, the story changed from a quirky little feature on a fish for Miami Beach 411 to a First Amendment story for Photography is Not a Crime.
I pulled out my Flip camera to interview him about his concept of photographers’ rights.
That was when the crazy lady who was either his friend or customer – or maybe even the owner of the truck- attacked me.
The video begins in the midst of the attack because I had just turned the camera on and it takes a couple of seconds for the Flip to start recording.
She basically charged at me, trying to swipe my camera, but grabbing my shirt instead. I pulled away from her and she backed off.
I was a little bewildered by the whole episode because normally people welcome me to take their photos once I inform them I want to write an article on their business.
Maybe he had something to hide, but if that’s the case, he wasn’t doing a great job of it.
So the crazy lady calls the cops on her cell phone as I continue to record her, then she walks to the back of my car and gives the cops my license plate number. I then record her license plate number, which is 936 XXX (insert your porno joke here).
I would have waited for the cops to arrive because I am curious how they would have handled the situation, but she drove away, so I left shortly after.
A few minutes later, I drove back to see if the guy would be standing on the street with the same fish. I still wanted that photo.
He was standing there, but with a smaller fish in his hands, but this time, he didn’t mind me recording, so go figure.
Meanwhile, I’m pissed that I was never able to photograph the original fish because it was huge.
I’ll just chalk it up as the one that got away.