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2 Alabama men charged after ‘takeover’ of Florida beach town

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PANAMA CITY BEACH, Fla. (AP) — Two Alabama men are charged with inciting or encouraging a riot after authorities said messages were posted online encouraging a “takeover” of a city Florida resort during spring break, authorities said.

More than 160 people were arrested, about 75 illegal firearms confiscated and several businesses closed during a wild weekend late last month in Panama City Beach, police said.

Social media influencers and others promoted “Panamaniac” on Facebook and other social media platforms, authorities said.

Demarion Ty’Quan Cooper, 20, and Rashad Boyce Glasper, 25, were arrested Thursday at their homes in the Alabama towns of Troy and Wetumpka, police said.

“Law enforcement has determined that Cooper and Glasper played a significant role in promoting and influencing their followers to create this disorder with a propensity for violence,” Panama City Beach police said in a statement. press release announcing the arrests. More arrests are expected, police added.

It was unclear as of Friday whether the Alabama men had any attorneys who could be reached to comment on their behalf.

Now, “takeover” events planned for later this month in the Destin area are circulating on social media, WJHG-TV reported. At a recent press conference, Walton and Okaloosa county sheriff’s officials said they will not tolerate lawlessness over the coming weekends in this part of the Florida Panhandle.

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