2 Alabama men charged after 'takeover' of Florida beach town

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Two Alabama men are accused of inciting or encouraging a riot after authorities said messages were spread online encouraging the spring break “takeover” of a Florida beach town.

More than 160 people were arrested, about 75 illegal guns were confiscated and several businesses closed during a wild weekend late last month in Panama City Beach, police said.

Social media influencers and others promoted “Panamaniac” on Facebook and other social media platforms, authorities said.

Police patrol Panama City Beach.

Police patrol Panama City Beach.
(Joshua Comins)

ALABAMA LAWMAKERS APPROVE EDUCATION RULE SIMILAR TO FLORIDA’S LAW

Demarion Ty’Quan Cooper, 20 and Rashad Boyce Glasper, 25, were arrested Thursday at their homes in the Alabama cities of Troy and Wetumpka, police said.

“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,” Panama City Beach Police said in a statement announcing the arrests. More arrests are expected, police added.

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It was not known Friday whether the Alabama men have lawyers who would speak on their behalf.

Now, “takeover” events planned for later this month in the Destin area are circulating on social media, WJHG-TV reported. At a recent news conference, sheriff’s officials in Walton and Okaloosa counties said they won’t tolerate lawlessness during upcoming weekends in that part of Florida’s Panhandle.

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