Walton & Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Offices address upcoming ‘Takeover Parties’ following recent PCB events

On Monday morning, the Walton County Sheriff’s Office, in conjunction with Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office, addressed concerns over promoted “Destin Takeover” events and incoming crowds during Atlanta’s Spring Break week.

  • This press conference was held at Pompano Joe’s.

Following the recent incidences in Panama City Beach over the weekend with similar “take over parties”, concerns arose in Okaloosa & Walton County as flyers for a Crab Island Takeover began circulating social media. The promoted parties list April 9 and April 22-24th as the current dates.

According to Walton County Sheriff Michael Adkinson, Jr., both his department along with the Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office are well aware of the planned “take over” events.

  • “We’re aware of it and we’re going to put pressure on those events,” he said.

According to Sheriff Adkinson, law enforcement agencies have been reaching out to both the rental companies and the homeowners that are advertising these type of takeover events.

“We have a couple of multi-million dollar houses that are being advertised as party houses,” he said. “Our deputies from the Sheriff’s Office are making contact with the owners and the rental agencies this morning and saying to them, ‘This is not what we’re about. We’re aware of how this is being marketed. We’re asking you as good stewards in the community to refund that money and cancel that reservation.’

Sheriff Adkinson went on to say that he wants people to come to the area and enjoy themselves, but added that “this is our home.”

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“These are adults and we expect you to act like that,” he said. “And if you can’t do that, we’ll do it for you.”

Adkinson went on to say that “at any moment, we’ll go across the line and help Okaloosa or we’ll go across to Bay (county).”

  • “We’re all prepared to take whatever action is necessary to keep this community safe and to protect our home,” he said. “We’re going to deal with this with a stern, strong hand. Take that any way you like. So the reality of this is, we are not going to sit by and allow these types of things to happen.”

Sheriff Adkinson addressed the recent incidences they’ve seen in Walton County, particularly at Seaside.

“The crowds we’ve dealt with in Walton county are children,” he said. “They may be loud. They may be big crowds. They may even be a little obnoxious, but at the end of the day, they are children and you deal with children a certain way.”

  • “What we’re talking about here as adults, and with adults, we are going to take zero discretion in dealing with this. We are taking people to jail. If there’s a way to take them to jail, they will go to jail. So we want to say that up front,” he added.

He continued to emphasize that both the Walton and Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Offices will continue to monitor these planned takeover events.

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“They’re not taking anything over. It’s not going to happen,” he said. “We’ve got plenty of opportunity in the Walton County Jail.”

Background: Panama City Beach law enforcement says 75 guns were seized and 161 people were arrested during a Spring Break weekend, according to WEAR TV.

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