Two young Alabama men have been arrested and are being charged for “inciting riots” at Panama City Beach.
The riots, also known as the “Panamaniac,” happened March 25-27 and led to “more than 60 people being arrested, about 75 illegal guns confiscated, and several businesses were closed,” according to Tampa Bay Times.
According to a press release from the Panama City Beach Police Department obtained by Panama City News Herald, Demarion Ty’Quan Cooper, 20, and Rashad Boyce Glasper, 25, were arrested Thursday in their Alabama homes.
The two men are accused of allegedly inciting and encouraging a riot, which they are said to have promoted on Facebook and other social media platforms.
Glasper shared a post from Joan Hart Mitchell on Facebook on March 27 that revealed the crowd at the beach town. A vehicle passed through the spring break festivities, making it rain, and the 25-year-old man took credit for it writing, “That was me throwing the money .”
Panama City Beach police announced, “Law enforcement determined Cooper and Glasper played a substantial role in promoting and influencing their followers to create this disorder with a propensity for violence.”
Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said during the “Panamaniac,” Cooper shared a social media post saying, “Mask up, glove up, let’s burn this place down.”
“Both of them were here during the weekend that everybody remembers, committing a multitude of crimes. These are not the type of people we want visiting Panama City Beach, (and) I think everybody could agree. We want people to play with sandcastles and sand buckets, not semi-automatic weapons,” Talamantez continued.
“There’s no words to describe their actions,” Talamantez said. “There were seen with guns multiple times throughout the weekend. … They won a prize, and that’s a trip to jail. You play stupid games. You get stupid prizes.”
The police department is likely to make more arrests.
In the meantime, police departments are gearing up for spring breakers scheduling beach “takeovers” in the upcoming weeks.
Per the Tampa Bay Times, sheriff officials in Florida’s Panhandle counties have said they will not tolerate the lawlessness of spring breakers.