Miami Commission candidate pulls gun on opponent’s campaign worker re signs

Just when you thought the D1 race in the city of Miami couldn’t get seedier. Or more dangerous.

Former Miami Police Officer turned private eye Frank Pichel, now a candidate in the city’s district 1 race, was arrested Sunday afternoon after he pulled a gun on another campaign team in Allapattah.

According to the arrest report, Pichel, 61, was putting up his campaign signs and taking down signs for Alex Diaz de la Portilla. When someone from the ADLP team went to confront him, Pichel basically said, he could do whatever he wanted and “te voy a dar un tiro y tu vas a ver que nada va a passer porque yo era policia,” which translates to “I’m going to shoot you and you will see nothing will happen because I used to be a police officer.”

It’s Pichel’s Fifth Avenue moment. And it was all caught on CCTV, according to the police report. We shall all be seeing it on the news soon.

Read related: Mailer in Miami District 1 race attacks ADLP, nails him on corruption arrest

Two witnesses also told police they heard the argument and saw Pichel take his Glock 9mm out, rack it and place it by his side before returning it to his waistband. The victim, who called police, was driven to Jackson Memorial Hospital, where Pichel was located, saying he felt ill. Pichel was positively identified, arrested and charged with aggravated assault with a firearm.

So now we have two accused felons running for Miami commissioner in the same district. Diaz de la Portilla was suspended by the governor after he as arrested in September on public corruption charges that include money laundering and bribery, among a slew of campaign finance violations.

It’s not like Pichel had any real chance of being elected. Pichel ran against ADLP in 2019 and got 334 votes, or 5%. In the 2021 mayoral race, he came in dead last, with less than 2% of the vote.

In fact, Pichel is more familiar with getting arrested than elected.

Pichel, who has often been linked to Commissioner Joe Carollo, was arrested in 2021 for impersonating a police officer when he was following Mayor Francis Suarez in the Keys trying to get photos of mayor’s the Sgt. at arms on vacation with the family.

Also running in the District 1 race is auto parts dealer Miguel Gabela, marketing promoter Manny Tapia and longtime county employee Mercedes “Merci” Rodriguez. Election Day is Nov. 7. People are already voting by mail.

Francisco Pichel arrest form by Political Cortadito on Scribd