There’s never been anything delicate about Florida. It’s always had a rogue streak. It’s still Miami vice, surf, sand, sex, drugs, and semiautomatic weapons.
With Miami Beach enforcing a strict curfew to curb a spike in spring break violence in one of the final weeks of the season, Panama City and other Florida beach towns are boasting of a more relaxed scene.
161 people, including 78 from Alabama, were arrested during what some social media groups were calling “PCB Takeover” at Panama City Beach over the weekend.
The majority of the arrests made by the Bay County Sheriff’s Office were for illegal firearms charges, as 75 firearms were seized by law enforcement— calling it enough firepower to “arm a small army.” Some of the guns seized included pistols, shotguns, and semi-automatic rifles.
Law enforcement officials said Sunday that they won’t tolerate the bad behavior from spring breakers after a 21-year-old from Alabama was shot in the foot Sunday during a shooting in Panama City Beach.
“What we saw this past weekend is absolutely unacceptable,” Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said Monday. “The behavior of these pathetic cowards that came to our beach and committed these crimes, their actions will not be tolerated.”
“If they come from Alabama and they’re going to commit a crime with a gun, they may very well be our guests for ten years”.
Bay County Sheriff Tommy Ford said he believes there could have been many tragedies this weekend if it were not for the combined effort of numerous law enforcement agencies.
Local law enforcement agencies planned for this weekend for about two or three weeks because of an anticipated increase in visitors, he said.
When asked about a possible curfew in Panama City Beach, Talamantez said “nothing is off the table.” He said officials are evaluating the situation. Officials plan to meet again on Friday to address the issue.
“I know the citizens are frustrated. Trust me, we are frustrated too,” Talamantez said. “The harsh reality is we cannot control who comes to town. But what we can control is what happens to you if you commit a crime in this town. We will hold you accountable.”
But look at the video below, what happens when the cops bring a drug dog to the beach, during “PCB Takeover” at Panama City Beach.
Talamantez and other Panama City officials said the troublemakers were taking part in an event called “Panamaniac” that was being orchestrated by specific influencers online.
“This isn’t what we want coming to our city,” said Panama City Police Chief Mark Smith. “We want the spring breakers, we want the tourists. We don’t want this element.”
Overall, Bay County Sheriff’s Office responded to 859 calls for service over the weekend, with 548 of those coming from beach zones.