Pair arrested for camping on Ocala store roof

Men pitched tent atop Shoe Carnival, stole power

Published On: Sep 27 2012 11:49:30 PM EDT   Updated On: Sep 28 2012 06:33:12 AM EDT
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OCALA, Fla. -

Two men were arrested on allegations of turning a store's rooftop into a camping site, where they threw parties for weeks, according to police.

Ocala police arrested Travis Rose and John Lucas Vaughn after they found that the men had set up a tent on the roof of a Shoe Carnival. Police found a three-room tent, patio furniture and electrical cords powering fans and cellphone chargers.

"We had planned on getting a lot more, too," Rose told Local 6 during a jailhouse interview. "We had planned on bringing a TV and an Xbox and putting it under a gazebo and getting fake grass, doing a putt-putt course."

Rose said he was the mastermind behind three weeks of rooftop parties that landed him and his friend in jail.

"It was just a spot where we could call everybody and meet up at night and just everybody come hang out," said Rose.

According to Rose, the pair had intimate parties with six to eight "house guests." Getting them to the rooftop wasn't easy, he said.

"Every time we called somebody and invited them to it, it blew their mind," he said. "They'd be like, 'We have to climb a ladder and go see your tent?'"

It wasn't all innocent fun, though. They were uninvited tenants, stealing power above the Shoe Carnival. The pair might have gotten away with having a crash pad on the roof, but cops started investigating a stolen box truck that led them to the tent.

"I knew it was trespassing," said Rose, who denies taking part in the truck theft. "It was just a crazy idea we had and followed through with. We didn't mean no harm out of it.  We just wanted a spot to hang out and have fun with everybody."

When asked if he regrets what he did, he said, "I do now."

Watch Local 6 News for more on this story.