Video: Clearwater Council candidate Aaron Smith-Levin punched after allegedly calling woman a ‘c–t’

Smith-Levin blamed his outburst on stress from leaving Scientology seven years ago.

A Clearwater City Council candidate is accused of harassing a woman and calling her vulgar names multiple times during a September incident, police body camera footage shows.

The video captures about 15 minutes of interaction between Clearwater Police officers and Aaron Smith-Levin. Smith-Levin, a 41-year-old former Scientologist, is running for Seat 5 on the Clearwater City Council in the March municipal election.

According to the video, Smith-Levin called officers on Sept. 17 after a man punched him in the face at Fusion Cigar Lounge on Clearwater Beach. Smith-Levin told officers he was out collecting signatures to get his name on the ballot when the boyfriend of a woman he knew from their time in Scientology approached him.

“He came over to me, behind me, and said, ‘If you call my girlfriend crazy again, I’m basically gonna beat the s–t out of you,'” Smith-Levin told officers. “I stood up, went to talk to him and the next thing I know, I’m getting punched in my face, knocked down to the floor.”

In the video, Smith-Levin tells officers the woman called him a stalker. He told officers he never stalked or harassed her, but admitted to sending her messages on Facebook the year before.

“She brought up something that happened 18 months ago where, while I was really drunk, I sent her a bunch of Facebook messages,” he told police. “Like, what do you want me to say? I don’t know. She’s super hot, I’m sorry.”

But bartenders told police a different story. They said Smith-Levin never called the woman crazy. They told police he called her a “c–t” five times before the boyfriend stepped in. Smith-Levin initially told police he didn’t want the man to get away with hitting him, but declined to press charges when police told him he was the aggressor.

“You could have the guy write out a confession that he punched you in the face,” an officer is heard telling Smith-Levin. “No state attorney will ever prosecute because of the words you said to his girlfriend.”

In a written statement to the Tampa Bay Times, Smith-Levin blamed his personal struggles on leaving the Church of Scientology seven years ago.

“Everyone who goes through the hell of leaving Scientology knows just how far from fine it can get,” he wrote. “And yet I and my family have persevered and made it work, and I help others do the same. In the unbelievable stress and pressure of all of this, I have made mistakes. I continue to heal and grow.”

Smith-Levin has based his campaign largely on standing up to Scientology’s growing influence in Clearwater.

Daniel Figueroa IV

Bronx, NY —> St. Pete, Fla. Just your friendly, neighborhood journo junkie with a penchant for motorcycles and Star Wars. Daniel has spent the last decade covering Tampa Bay and Florida for the Ledger of Lakeland, Tampa Bay Times, and WMNF. You can reach Daniel Figueroa IV at [email protected].


  • PeterH

    January 21, 2022 at 5:42 pm

    Unacceptable behavior! He needs to withdraw his attempt at public office.

    • James Sanders

      January 21, 2022 at 8:02 pm

      Clearwater doesn’t go for drunken behavior. Remember Rita Garvey?

  • John S.

    January 21, 2022 at 6:13 pm

    This candidate needs to drop out. His behavior is unacceptable. Clearwater deserves better.

  • PalmHarborBoi

    January 21, 2022 at 6:21 pm

    HaHaHa! as if acting like a fool and breaking the law was enough to prevent someone from winning public office anymore. Your EX-president said he could shoot someone in Times Square and still get elected, and then lead an armed attempt at a coup, and they’re STILL gonna vote for him.

    • Susanne

      January 21, 2022 at 7:54 pm

      Well, luckily this is coming out now. So we don’t find out later that we elected a misogynist into office. He has issues and should deal with them first.

      • Lincoln

        January 22, 2022 at 11:17 am

        why a misogynist? maybe she is a c*nt.

    • Don G

      January 22, 2022 at 2:09 pm

      As usual you libs take things out of context And lie We are tired of your BS You will see come 2022 and 24

      • PeterH

        January 22, 2022 at 3:58 pm

        Nothing taken out of context. Trump stated that he could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and his supporters would still vote for him. Additionally Trump led an organized and attempted coup on on January 6, 2021 and now hundreds of his deplorable followers are going to prison.

        And with the conviction of Igor Frurman yesterday who was convicted of pooling Russian money on behalf of Donald Trump’s presidency…… yes Donald Trump colluded with Russians to win in 2016. Putin loves ignorant narcissist presidents.

      • Don G is a Moron

        January 24, 2022 at 3:16 pm

        Keep dreaming you delusional fuqtard.

    • Barbara

      January 23, 2022 at 10:51 am

      Armed? Who had guns, just the police……

    • Chuck

      January 28, 2022 at 12:21 am

      You are so tragically full of crap. Your life must be pure hell.

      • Don’t Look Up

        January 28, 2022 at 12:32 am

        …..but those are Trump’s exact words!

  • CLWVoter

    January 21, 2022 at 6:47 pm

    This is abhorrent behavior from a man who has the ego to put himself on the ballot to represent the men, WOMEN, and CHILDREN of Clearwater! Calling a woman a C$%T and saying she’s “Crazy” and “Super F’ing Hot” the day he filed to run for office! He needs to grow up and get therapy he does not need our votes!

  • Alex

    January 21, 2022 at 6:50 pm

    This is beyond ridiculous. This guy needs to drop out. Apparently he also harassed women in Dunedin recently as well. Via TBT: “In February 2020, Amy Fowler, the manager of The Rusty Lyon bar in Dunedin, issued a trespass warning to Smith-Levin after she said he harassed two women and then refused to leave, according to a Pinellas County Sherriff’s Office incident report.”

  • Fred P

    January 21, 2022 at 6:58 pm

    He must drop out of the race! He is unfit! He needs professional help!

  • Lucas Williams

    January 21, 2022 at 7:05 pm

    Lewd advances towards potential voters, not matter how “hot” they might be, is not a proven election campaign idea. Doesn’t this man have three daughters?

    • Susanne

      January 21, 2022 at 8:04 pm

      I hope the daughters are with the ex-wife?!?

  • Oliver

    January 21, 2022 at 7:07 pm

    This man fails the diplomacy test. Obviously, he has no patience for working with the public. He should see if Antifa has any job openings.

  • Robbie C

    January 21, 2022 at 7:16 pm

    Forget city council. He needs counseling! No way is this guy in mental shape to hold office.

  • James Sanders

    January 21, 2022 at 7:45 pm

    I just asked my wife: If we were in a bar and guy called you the C word five times, what would you expect me to do? She said:
    “I would kinda like you to beat the S out of him! But not really, wouldn’t want to deal with the ramifications!” Aaron couldn’t handle “Citizens to be heard”. Anger issues!

  • Erin Smyth-Leven

    January 21, 2022 at 7:47 pm

    A former Scientologist who decries the organization for “disconnection” disconnects from his wife and 3 daughters regularly to frequent bars to get intoxicated, flirt with women, berate and bully the women (and their dates, AND wait staff and bar managers) when they rebuff his vulgar entreaties. Then he calls the cops and blames Scientology when he gets punched out for using what the courts recognize as “fighting words”? Five times. This immature, admitted “work in progress” at age 41, seeks elective office to gain access to a pulpit from which to preach against his former religion, but he cannot control his temper, emotions, lust, sobriety or infidelity? I guess he can’t find his way to happiness. I’m not so sure it’s wise to lend credence or contributions to his Aftermath Foundation charity, I think he is the vice president, if it hasn’t the moral compass to disassociate from this deeply flawed, emotionally disturbed candidate. Mental health, or at least the appearance of lucidity and professionalism, should be requisites for elective office. Particularly in Clearwater.

    • Rineay Myth-Levensay Knot

      January 23, 2022 at 10:58 pm

      Maxwell Smart: “I have Google working hard to find every post Ms. Erin Smyth-Leven every made to the internet, Chief.”

      Chief: “Actually Agent 99 has looked into this, and she says it’s a pseudo if ever she’s heard one. A ‘suitable guise’ you might say.”

      Smart: “There are details in the post . . . well we must practice careful secrecy.”

      Chief: NO, Max! NOT the cone of silence! No no no!!!”

      Smart” “Yes, chief . . . we must . . . I SAID WE MUST Muffle warl gurbve…”

  • Susan M

    January 21, 2022 at 7:54 pm

    Scary! Can u imagine him responding to a “hot” woman at “citizens to be heard”

  • Edward Smith

    January 21, 2022 at 9:07 pm

    I have been involved in the political arena for the past 25 yrs, in various positions working with and vetting local, state and federal political candidates.

    This guy is by far the least fit for office of anyone I have ever encountered, and it is not even close! He needs to get psychiatric help! A married man, with kids, hanging out at bars, drinking to excess, harrassing women and goading their dates into fights is not
    anyone who should be seeking office.

    He should be seeking counseling, we do not need a work in progress to represent a great city like Clearwater, we need a mature, finished product who is passionate about working to effectuate positive change in the community at large!! He should drop out, immediately!

    • JACK

      January 24, 2022 at 10:01 am


  • Norm

    January 21, 2022 at 10:33 pm

    Can anyone help this man get into treatment? At least he’s not in denial about his serious problems.

  • KathyW

    January 21, 2022 at 11:23 pm

    What outrageously bad behavior. It would be detrimental to consider someone with no control of himself for a public position. Clearwater doesn’t need someone like that. Can’t be trusted. How many millions would it cost the city to cover an abuse case waiting to happen.

  • Ocean Joe

    January 22, 2022 at 11:47 am

    OK, he’s vulgar, he got what he had coming. Now when do we end the insanity of tax exempt status for Scientology?

    • Jeeves

      January 28, 2022 at 4:44 pm

      I think if you wanted to find the truth about something, you would find that the Church pays over $400,000 in local taxes for their buildings that do not deliver Church services, which is 80% of the buildings they own, so I understand you don’t think it is a viable Church, but the Courts do and did, so first take up your disagreement with the Constitution instead of throwing unfactual bombs about in ignorance. By the way it is all Public record you just have to be willing to look!

  • ClrwtrRocks

    January 22, 2022 at 2:57 pm

    Thank God there’s a real choice for Seat 5, Lina T!

    • Brenda

      January 22, 2022 at 3:10 pm

      Lina is by far the best choice to represent the citizens of Clearwater. She will stand up to scientology much more effectively than this drunken, misogynistic, fool! He was a lifelong scientologist. He is proof you can take the scientologist out of scientology but you can take the scientology tactics and bullying behavior out of the scientologist.
      Vote Lina!

  • Bucco

    January 22, 2022 at 3:28 pm

    Ocean Joe, that is not something the Clearwater City Council can do. It is strictly a Justice Department issue. That is why this drunken idiot is a “Straw Man Candidate”, he is running a campaign on an issue he can’t do anything about. What has Bunker done in 2 years ? Nothing.

    Until the Federal Government decides to move forward with this, which they apparently have zero interest in, local officials have their hands tied!

  • Micca

    January 22, 2022 at 8:56 pm

    I’m tired of “politicians” that are dysfunctional losers. We don’t need another one. We need GOOD people in office! Next!

  • JACK

    January 24, 2022 at 9:59 am


Comments are closed.


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