UPDATED 8:06 AM PT – Tuesday, March 29, 2022
Florida law enforcement have seized an astounding number of guns from Spring breakers. On Monday, Panama City officials announced it has confiscated 75 guns and arrested over 161 people over a two-day period. Panama City Beach Police Chief, J.R. Talamantez said the events that have taken place are unacceptable and pathetic.
“There were weapons brought to a resort destination,” he noted. “These were weapons brought to a beach by cowards who hide behind these guns, by cowards that cried when they were approached by true heroes wearing a badge. These individuals will soon find out what justice looks like.”
Authorities said guns on the streets are still a concern, adding they “will not tolerate this in their community.” One of the incidents included a police officer being hit over the head with a beer bottle. Chief Talamantez said the people are blatantly disregarding public safety and are in the beach town for the sheer reason of causing disruption.
Meanwhile, employees at a local Walmart ducked for cover when a mob of people ravaged the aisles destroying merchandise. City officials said the hecklers were taking part in an event called “Panamaniac,” which was orchestrated by social media influencers.
Revelers ransacked a Walmart in Panama City Beach, Fla. over the weekend. Police had to close a two-mile stretch of Front Beach Road because of the out of control crowds. Miami Beach has declared emergency because of shootings & violence from beach crowds.pic.twitter.com/IdaCLuN5vG
— Andy Ngô 🏳️🌈 (@MrAndyNgo) March 27, 2022
Mayor Mark Sheldon vowed to keep Panama City Beach a family destination.
“If you want to come here and be a bad person, you picked the wrong place,” he warned. “It’s not going to be ‘a real fun beach’ in the Bay County Jail, I’ll promise you that. But what we are is a real fun beach. Panama City is a family destination and that’s not going to change…trust me when I tell you, this is just a bad element of people.”
In further steps, a special meeting is scheduled for later this week to discuss the need for additional measures.