D’Ann Lawrence White,
CLEARWATER, FL — Four people were arrested Wednesday when a spring break crowd on Clearwater Beach became unruly and 26 Clearwater police officers were called in to control the young adults.
While patrolling the beach, Clearwater police came upon a large, rowdy group of young adults who were violating several city ordinances. When police tried to break up the crowd, a fight broke out at 6:53 p.m.
When the crowd refused to comply with officers, reinforcements were brought in for crowd control.
While trying to restore order, an officer handcuffed Dominic Glass, 18, of Land O’ Lakes and placed him in the back of a police vehicle. As the officer was walking around to the driver’s side of the vehicle, someone in the crowd opened the back door of the police car and let Glass escape.
Glass was apprehended by officers after a brief chase. He was charged with escape, disorderly conduct and resisting an officer without violence, and booked into the Pinellas County Jail.
Clearwater Police Chief Dan Slaughter said 26 officers in all responded to the disturbance and made four arrests including one for battering a police officer.
Police also identified the person who opened the door of the police vehicle, allowing Glass to escape. His arrest is pending.
Slaughter said he was disappointed to see a video posted on TikTok making the rounds on social media sites and TMZ, portraying the incident as a joke.
“The hilarious scene looks like they all just heard there was a free beer giveaway,” TMZ said in a story with the headline Handcuffed Kids Makes Getaway… And The Beach Goes Wild!!! “If ya gotta get arrested during spring break, might as well get the entire beach cheering for you as you flee from cops while you’re in handcuffs.”
“While many of the young adults in the video think this is funny, it has turned what would have been a very minor violation to one that will have severe consequences,” Slaughter said.