From Peter Schorsch at Saint Petersblog, news that Marleine Bastien, who’s running for the House seat being vacated by Rep. Kendrick Meek, was robbed at gunpoint yesterday as she and her sister were heading into a campaign event at… wait for it… a church in Miami. Jesus, take the wheel.
Both women are fine. Marleine is one of 9 Democratic contenders for the District 17 House seat. The winner of Tuesday’s peimary will face independent candidate Rod Vereen in November.
Peter also has an email from Bastien’s campaign manager, Matthew DeVlieger. It writes in part:
The news came as a shock to us all. With the election on Tuesday, Marleine obviously already has a lot on her plate. What happened today is something we could never have anticipated.
We are happy that Marleine is safe and with family, friends and supporters. She wanted me to let everyone know that she is very appreciative of your kind words and prayers. Thanks to North Miami Commissioners Scott Galvin and Jean Marcellus, Police Chief Stephen Johnson and North Miami Beach Councilman Frantz Pierre for coming to show their concern and support for Marleine at this time.
As far as the suspect; police say that someone matching the description has been reported committing the same types of armed robberies for the past few weeks. One had occurred just 30 minute prior to the incident involving Marleine.
Marleine is just taking a little rest right now, and is looking forward to moving on in these final days of the campaign. It’s a tough race and each day brings something new–like today– but Marleine isn’t going to let that stop her.
Read the rest at St. Petersblog.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel adds these details:
Marleine Bastien, 51, said she was parked outside a campaign event at The House of the Living God at 13700 NE 10th Ave. in North Miami when a gunman approached her and stuck a gun in her face.
“I didn’t even see the guy until I looked out the car door and he had a gun at my head,” she said Saturday evening, still coming to terms with the harrowing experience. “I was shocked.”
The robber threatened Bastien before noticing the candidate’s sister, Tahira, in the back seat.
Bastien said she’s been the victim of burglaries before, but this was the first time she came face to face with an armed robber.
Bastien is a widely known activist in South Florida’s Haitian community, a founder of the Haitian-American Grassroots Coalition and executive director of Fanm Ayisyen Nan Miami (Haitian Women of Miami).
The gunman got away in a waiting vehicle that looked like a gray Toyota Corolla, although Bastien said she wasn’t certain of the exact model. She and her sister went into the church and borrowed a phone to call 911.
Within an hour of the crime, her credit card had been used at three locations.