PCB takeover flyer gives locals flashbacks to last March

Some local business owners are getting some unwanted flashbacks after a flyer was posted on social media.
Published: Jan. 26, 2023 at 6:41 PM CST
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PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WJHG/WECP) -The weekend of March 26th, 2022 was a weekend of chaos in Panama City Beach. There were more than 160 arrests, 75 illegal guns seized by local law enforcement, shootings, riots, and closed businesses and roads.

“It was just complete chaos and lunacy. I mean people come down here and trash our parking lots and our businesses. We had to shut down cost us thousands of dollars,” Dave Trepanier, owner of Firefly and American Charlie said.

Now that chaos could be returning, after a flyer started circling social media; on it are big bold letters that say: ‘Panama City Beach Spring Break Takeover.’

The dates on the flyer have it being the weekend of March 24th through the 26th, and at the bottom says, ‘Don’t come on vacation and leave on probation.’

A local condo Facebook group shared the post on Thursday, and one told NewsChannel 7 she was afraid of the non-spring breakers coming back.

“I think most condo owners don’t want what happened last year to happen again here so I say they are not favorable towards that,” Robert Moors, condo owner and admin for the Facebook page, said.

Trepanier said he is angry at the thought of another group coming to the beach looking to cause nothing but trouble.

“They come down here to walk streets and hang out in the parking lots and they call it a takeover for a reason they are not down here to be productive, and have a good time and enjoy the beaches. They are here to party, screw around, and wreak havoc,” Trepanier said.

Law enforcement officials in PCB and Bay County tell us they are aware of the flyer.

Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R Talamantez released the following statement regarding the flyer,

“We are aware of social media advertisements promoting events slated to take place here during Spring Break. We are closely monitoring any and all activity associated with these events or other unsanctioned parties and will take the necessary measures to curtail any potential activity that might affect the public safety of our residents and visitors. The Panama City Beach Police Department has been working diligently to finalize our public safety strategy for Spring Break and we are confident in our plan. We will be announcing our initiatives in February. Rest assured, our top priority is keeping this community safe.”

Trepanier said he knows our local law enforcement will be ready if anything were to happen.

“I know Chief Talamantez and Sheriff Ford will be ready for them. I think they are going to clear out plenty of space in the jails for the so if they come down here and they want to do the same thing, they better bring a bunch of money cause they are not going to get out of this thing cheaply. They are going to jail and they are going to stay in jail.” Trepanier said.

NewsChannel 7 is unsure if it is the same group that is posting the takeover flyer this time. But we will keep you updated as law enforcement officials tell us how they plan to keep the area safe during spring break.