CLEARWATER — Clearwater police released details about a March 17 incident on Clearwater Beach that was released on the social media platform TikTok.
According to police, officers were patrolling the sand when they saw a large group of young adults acting in a disorderly manner and violating ordinances. They say as other officers arrived to help, a fight broke out about 6:53 p.m. that was quickly addressed; however, the “non-compliant nature” of the large crowd escalated despite the officers efforts to control the situation.
Police say while they were trying to restore order and separate those involved, one individual was handcuffed and placed in the back of a police vehicle. During the short time the officer was walking around the vehicle to get inside and drive the suspect off the beach, another person in the crowd opened the back door of the police vehicle and the handcuffed suspect was able to run away. Police apprehended him after a short chase.
The person who escaped from the police vehicle was identified as Dominic Glass, 18, of Land O’ Lakes. He was arrested and booked into the Pinellas County Jail where he was charged with escape, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest without violence. Bail was set at $2,400. He was released on cash bond at 8:13 p.m. March 18.
The person who opened the door was identified as Adam Asad, 18, of Oldsmar. He was charged with aiding prisoner escape and resisting arrest without violence. His bail was set at $5,150 and he was released on surety bond at 11:14 p.m. March 18.
Police say 26 officers responded to the beach that night and made four arrests due to various incidents, including one suspect who battered a police officer. No details about the other two arrests were provided.
"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," said Clearwater police Chief Dan Slaughter.
This is the second year that a social media video has shown Clearwater Beach in a less than illustrious manner during spring break. Last year, at the start of the pandemic, a video showing crowds of young people on the beach made the national news, creating negative press for the area. That video, in part, prompted County Commissioners to close the beaches.
The March 17 video was also picked up on national news, including shows such as TMZ.