By John Morton
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office recently issued a news release detailing its ability to prevent a large, planned party on Siesta Key that would have involved alcohol and guns.
According to the report, posted Sept. 20 on its Facebook page, deputies were made aware of the Sept. 16 event and subsequently conducted high-visibility enforcement in the area. As a result, they witnessed a group of individuals (two juveniles and two 18-year-olds) standing on a public beach easement smoking marijuana and holding alcohol.
A probable cause search was conducted on Herbert Fields (DOB 6/1/2005) and yielded two firearms, one of which was confirmed stolen.
Deputies charged Fields with grand theft of a firearm, carrying a concealed firearm, possession of marijuana, and possession of alcohol under 21 years of age.
Ultimately, all four were arrested for various charges, including possession of alcohol under 21 years of age, obstruction, and resisting with violence.
Sgt. Dan Smith, who runs the county’s substation at Siesta Beach, said that authorities in Manatee County notified Sarasota County of a planned party that was posted on social media. It was supposed to involved more than 100 people.
“Someone saw something and said something,” said Smith at the Oct. 5 meeting of the Siesta Key Association civic group, noting it was a good example of people reporting anything that appears concerning or suspicious. He urged those in attendance to always feel free to contact law enforcement in such situations.
“Great work by our SCSO deputies — always doing their best to keep Siesta Beach safe for the community and our visitors!” the Sheriff’s Office said at the end of its Facebook post.