Many Fort Myers Beach residents have complained about Adam Lacroix. He travels the beach pushing his religious beliefs on everyone, at times using a bullhorn. Lacroix has been accused by the locals of calling people names because of how he perceives their lifestyle while paying no attention to the fact that little kids are walking by as he’s hurling his message.
Lacroix does not need a permit for what he does. His preaching on a public beach is protected by the First Amendment. He has every right to say what he wants to say, to whoever he wants to say it to, wherever he wants to say it. And he should. Free speech is free speech. In fact he won a lawsuit against Lee County after he was arrested, in 2013, charged with tresspassing and disturbing the peace, when a Sheriff’s Deputy asked him to leave the beach and he refused.
When he picks up the bullhorn the only recourse the town has, when someone files a complaint, is to measure his sound level to see if he’s violating the noise ordinance.
Another weapon the town has in its arsenal is a sign ordinance. And that’s what this lawsuit is all about. All 180 pages of it, filed on January 12th. After being warned about carrying a sign in October, Lacroix was issued a ticket for violating the town’s sign ordinance in December.
The lawsuit says Lacroix has not harassed, encouraged violence, or expressed himself in any way other than in a peaceful manner. The suit also says Lacroix would like to continue to spread his message by holding portable signs.
Lacroix alleges the town is violating his constitutional rights to express his religious beliefs by carrying a portable sign. And his lawsuit says when he was issued the code violation by the town he was “embarrassed.”
Apparently after a call to town hall by Lacroix, he convinced the town to drop the sign violation charge.
However, he’s now unsure if he’ll be ticketed again if he carries a portable sign, which he believes he has every right to do. He says that worry “has caused, and will continue to cause him to suffer extreme hardship, both actual and impending, irreparable injury and damage.”
Lacroix is asking for a jury trial and asked for restraining order against the town. That restraining order was denied by District Court Judge Sheri Chappel in Fort Myers.
Read the lawsuit HERE