A Miami Beach real estate agent — who sported bruises in his mugshot — was arrested over the weekend after police say he tried to extort $800,000 from two high-powered brokers, known as ‘‘the Jills,’’ and then grabbed for an officer’s gun during his arrest.
He was then charged with resisting arrest with violence and depriving an officer of means of protection, in addition to two felony counts of extortion.
“This is retribution for my grievance with the Miami Association of Realtors,’’ Tomlinson said in a statement emailed to the Miami Herald. “I was threatened by Jill Hertzberg that something like this was going to happen if I went forward with my Miami Association of Realtors grievance.’’
Tomlinson obtained a Florida real estate license in 1994 and established himself as a top broker of Miami Beach property, serving as a member of the board of governors at the Realtor’s association. Last year he sold a lot on Allison Road for $11.7 million. He bought his 1,100-square-foot apartment for $375,000 10 years ago, county records show.
One Sotheby’s said it had “immediately terminated” Tomlinson and would cooperate with police.
In a written statement issued through a spokesman, the Jills said that they were “shaken by this extortion attempt, but want to thank the Miami Beach Police Department for their professionalism and guidance.”
In reference to Tomlinson’s complaint, spokesman Bruce Rubin said there had been “an issue” entering electronic data into the multiple listing service and that the Jills had discussed the matter with the Realtors’ association.
The association declined to comment on the complaint, saying it could not confirm or deny the existence of any complaints.
The incident with Tomlinson isn’t the first case of bizarre behavior featuring South Florida real estate agents.
Back in 2006, Dean Isenberg created fake, raunchy online escort ads featuring the phone numbers of a rival agent in North Miami-Dade. The series of ads sparked hundreds of lurid phone calls to the married mother of three, nearly driving her to a nervous breakdown.
Isenberg later pleaded guilty to misdemeanor stalking in exchange for probation, 300 hours of community service and restitution of $12,500 to the victim.