Coined as a “flotilla of fun,” the
2016 Gasparilla Pirate Festival went off without any major incidents or concerns. Many credit this smooth
sailing to the increased police and security presence found around the
different festivities. With more than 200,000 attendees, local law enforcement
stepped up their game to help control the traffic and patrol participant
behavior. The entire Tampa police force and several other agencies joined
the effort to help monitor the event.
While the pirate ships set back out to sea by Saturday night and a majority
of attendees walked or caught a cab back home, not all were fortunate
enough to finish off the festivities with such high spirits.
2016 Arrests at Gasparilla
Gasparilla Pirate Fest saw a significant drop in arrests and citations compared to previous years.
For example, 2010 resulted in 415 arrests, 2011 ended with nearly 350
arrests, and 2014 carried with it 40+ arrests. Last year was the lowest
number for the festival in the last few years, ending with 24 arrests
and 5 open container citations.
So what were the final numbers for 2016?
2 Felony Arrests:
Battery on a law enforcement officer – 1
- Aggravated battery with an active warrant – 1
23 Misdemeanor Arrests:
There was also one citation issue of an open container, bringing the totals
to 25 arrests for
misdemeanors and 1 citation. Though the number is smaller than previous years, the
seriousness of such charges remains the same for those arrested.
Increased Police Presence Helps Curb Arrests
A majority of participants didn’t feel that the increased police
interfered with the parade, and aside from some traffic jams, the festival
went off without any serious hitches. This shouldn’t come as too
much of a surprise, as there were reportedly over a thousand Tampa police
officers and 21 other agencies keeping a close watch on the pirate festivities.
With another Gasparilla Pirate Fest come and gone, some may be finding
themselves facing more serious repercussions than just a headache after
a day filled with swashbuckling activities. The good news is that even
pirates deserve a strong defense.
If you or a loved one was arrested at Gasparilla this year, do not hesitate to contact our Tampa criminal defense lawyers
at Thomas & Paulk! We have a proven record of success.