Headline Surfer videos by Henry Frederick / These videos were shot during the New Smyrna Beach Shrimp & Seafood Festival on Flagler Avenue, an annual event of the Flagler Avenue Merchants Hospitality Group, with funding provided by the city's Community Redevelopment Agency. Some 5,000 people attended the festival. The owner of Traders bar, Dave Fernandez, and three of his patrons, tried to block Headline Surfer from videotaping the activity in front of his bar where he was hosting a 'beer garden' on the public sidewalk and street. As it turned out, the beer garden was illegal because Fernandez didn't apply for nor was he given a permit to serve and host a beer garden. Possession of an open container in public is a misdemeanor crime. Fernandez, well known to police and the courts, received a $60,000 CRA grant in October to fix up his bar with the help of his boyhood friend, Mayor Adam Barringer. Fernandez and Barringer, are shown left to right, respectively, below.
NEW SMYRNA BEACH -- The videos showing Traders bar owner and three of his patrons harassing Headline Surfer's coverage a week ago today of the New Smyrna Beach Shrimp & Seafood Festival are trending on YouTube.
The videos, "Bar Bullies Harass Reporter," have been accessed in increasing numbers by YouTube users in the past seven days with both now ranked in the top 10 of the Headline Surfer/NSB News subscriber channel on YouTube.
The "Bar Bullies Harass Reporter pt. 2" had 1,165 views making it the eighth highest-ranked video and the "Bar Bullies Harass Reporter pt. 1" had 932 views as of noon today.
Both have a long way to go, however, to make the top 5, with cole slaw wrestling in Samsula and a feature on a female tattoo artist in Daytona, both part of Bike Week coverage, well out in front.
The No. 1 video, "Coleslaw Wrestling at Samsula pt. 2," posted Mar 20, 2012, has 25,893. The 5th-ranked video, "Coleslaw Wrestling at Samsula pt. 3," has 3,333 views.
When Headline Surfer was shooting the shrimp festival, it was approached by Traders bar owner Dave Fernandez, who was complimented on what appeared to be an orderly set up in front of his bar.
But what Headline Surfer didn't know until the next day in a public records request at City Hall was that Fernandez didn't have the required city permit to allow for open containers in public.
Headline Surfer / This still shot from Headline Surfer's video coverage of the New Smyrna Beach Shrimop & Seafood Festival shows one of Traders bar patrons trying to block the internet newspaper from shooting video.
Fernandez became aggressive and started blocking Headline Surfer's video coverage. The 24/7 internet newspaper walked away and moved to another spot on the street to capture the activity at his bar when it was accosted by Fernandez and three of his patrons.
Headline Surfer called 9-1-1, and waited more than 5 minutes for New Smyrna Beach police to arrive while remaining on the line with a Volusia County Sheriff's dispatcher. The police took statements, but did not make any arrests nor did they deal with the public drinking.
Whether the cops knew or didn't know whether Fernandez had a permit is open to debate. Headline Surfer has a 2 p.m. appointment today with Police Chief George Markert to discuss the situation.
Headline Surfer has chronicled the lack of police enforcement of the open container law at alcohol-fueled street festivals in more than a dozen videos over the past three years, The city of New Smyrna Beach has allotted $2 million in CRA funding for bars and promotion of the street festivals for the Merchants of Flagler Hospitality Group whose moniker is "The Party's on Flagler."
In the early hours of May 6, Riccilynn Rigoli, the mother of three young girls, died in a horrific DUI-related crash after slamming into the concrete median. She had been drinking at a bar on Flagler during the Cinco de Mayo street festival, according to a police homicide report. She was ejected from her vehicle, which rolled several times before landing on her body.
Rigoli, pronounced dead at the scene, was just 32 years old. Her blood alcohol level was nearly 3 1/2 times the legal limit.
Fernandez, well known to police with two misdemeanor convictions, was a direct benefactor of CRA funding, receiving a $60,000 grant for renovations to his bar, with the funding secured by his boyhood friend, Mayor Adam Barringer, and the city commissioners back in October.
Neither Barringer nor Commissioners Judy Reiker, Jack Grasty nor then-Commissioners Lynne Plaskett and Jim Hathaway, have responded to numerous requests for comments from Headline Surfer on the CRA funding for Traders.
The mayor and City Manager Pamela Brangaccio are both the subject of multiple investigations with the Florida Commission on Ethics on unrelated spending issues and other matters. Brangaccio has refused comment on the CRA bar expenditures as well.
Mayor Adam Barringer and City Manager Pamela Brangaccio are both the subject of multiple investigations with the Florida Commission on Ethics on unrelated spending issues and other matters. Brangaccio has refused comment on the CRA bar expenditures as well.