City considers beach crackdown in Cocoa Beach

Meeting comes after 2 caught in sex acts at beach

By Justin Warmoth - Anchor

COCOA BEACH, Fla. - The City of Cocoa Beach will be holding a meeting Thursday where stricter regulations on beach drinking will be discussed.

The proposed alcohol regulations stem from unruly behavior at the Minutemen Causeway beach access. Some local business owners say the behavior of many beachgoers is getting out of control.

"Ninety to 95 percent of them are having a good time," said longtime local Steve Romano. "It's just the small majority of ones that just mix a little too much beer and alcohol with the sun that make it bad for everybody else."

In July, out-of-town visitors 44-year-old Robert Baker and 29-year-old Brooke Barnhizer were arrested on allegations of performing sexual acts on each other in the waters off Minutemen Causeway. The arrest report states that a 10-year-old boy was the first one to spot the two. Both were charged with lewd and lascivious exhibition.

City officials said they have seen a spike in the past few months of disorderly behavior at this beach access. Among these problems, officials have seen disorderly conduct, public urination, assault, intoxication and drug possession.

"We've got to become known for a city that enforces those laws. I don't think that we need more laws," said Romano.

The Cocoa Beach city manager has been tasked with looking into options to control the beach's problems, including possible new regulations about drinking on the beach. He will present his ideas at a public meeting at 6 p.m. Thursday.

The meeting will be held at the commission room in City Hall, which is located at 2 South Orlando Avenue.

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