Gasparilla Fest Floats By: 25 Arrests Surface

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.Gasparilla Defense Lawyer

2016 Arrests at Gasparilla

This year’s 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?

There was also one citation issue of an open container, bringing the totals to 25 arrests for felonies and 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.