Taking Matters Into Their Own Hands

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While the town of Fort Myers Beach battles street preacher Adam Lacroix in court and Lee County Deputies avoid him after losing a lawsuit for violating his free speech, local residents and restaurant customers are taking matters in to their own hands.

Adam Lacroix and a handful of other street preachers have found a home in Times Square on Fort Myers Beach. While nobody denies the preachers have a right to express their views, it’s how they’re doing it that’s causing a huge problem for Times Square businesses.

Typically on a busy Saturday night you’ll find a street preacher near the clock in Times square. They use bullhorns and speakers to amplify their message and big signs with dead babies to get their opinion out about abortion. They also call beachgoers vulgar names if they are drinking alcohol or wearing bikinis.

While none of what the preachers are doing seems to violate any law, it’s taking a toll on the restaurants in the area, especially Plaka which is the closest to where the activity is taking place. Customers get up and leave to avoid hearing the language or see the signs. Others simply stay away from the square. The town is entangled in a federal lawsuit with Lacroix who filed the suit after the town tried to write him a violation for violating their sign ordinance. Until that is resolved code enforcement has been instructed to stay away from the preachers.

This past weekend a few locals came up with a plan to fight fire with fire. They have their own bullhorns and try to overpower the preachers with sound. And, they kept the fight going as long as they needed to. See the video HERE.

Joy Keim has lived in the Times Square area for more than a decade. With her own bullhorn in hand, Joy began to fight back against the street preachers. She says the people that own businesses in Times Square are her neighbors and friends. “It breaks my heart to see their businesses hurt by this selfish, greedy, fake.  He doesn’t care about religion, only lining his pocket. His lawsuits against the town and county have cost taxpayers thousands. It embarrasses me to see visitors come and be harassed by his obnoxious rhetoric. He calls women whores and children bastards.  He stands before God and harasses people hoping for a confrontation so he can sue.  A few weeks ago when he had his abortion signs out 4 people were arrested because he was so ugly. I didn’t do this for me, even though I can’t stand him, but for the business owners and the people that work so hard taking care of the locals and visitors that are just trying to make a living and support their own families.”

Local residents also know that the street preachers record their videos for social media platforms like YouTube so if they can get popular music playing near the street preachers video cameras, those videos will be kicked off social media for copyright infringement.

In addition to the noise, the preachers often use bright white lights, in clear violation of the town’s turtle ordinance. Joy tells us last Saturday night when she confronted the group she did have some backup. “A local came to me and was upset about the bright white lights that were lighting up the square and beach. It’s turtle season and we all do our part to help protect them. We suffer stumbling in the darkness on our way to the parking lot or restaurant to protect the sea turtles, yet he is allowed to use large white lights during turtle season. Why does the town allow this? We want answers and sometimes you just have to stir the pot to see what floats to the surface.”

Joy says the response to her plan to stop the preachers was all positive. “People were cheering us on, thanking us for stepping up and doing something when the town or county won’t. It was very obvious we flustered them early on as Adam Lacroix, the head henchman, was not even around when we started.  His little followers had to call him and get him to come down for help. That made me happy as I know we disrupted his Saturday night, just like he does to everyone else. I’m hoping for a bigger show of support next time with more megaphones, signs, and the all important umbrellas to block him. If he can’t see anyone he has no one to harass.”

The downtown merchants association recently received approval to add a band to the square for Saturday nights. Right now a band only plays on Friday night, typically High Tide. Adding Saturday night was requested in part to drown out the street preachers in the square.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Does he have the right to scream Jesus and hoist placards in a crowded place? Probably.
    Does he have the right to scream expletives at crowds of diners, driving them away, and call bikinied bathers and sunset watchers whores?
    Probably not.
    Florida Statute 877.03:
    Under the statute, the offense of disturbing the peace includes any act deemed sufficient to “corrupt the public morals,” or “outrage the sense of public decency,” or “effect the peace and quiet of persons” who may observe the act.
    The question is why are deputies not arresting such misdemeanor violators.

  2. People should be throwing water balloons or disgusting noxious substances on these clowns. The Town and the businesses may not be able to get them out but the crowd can.

  3. I don’t understand why he can’t be arrested for causing a Nuisance???
    WTH is wrong with FMB Police?
    Helloooooooo.

  4. Why can’t they play music there so he is not heard, I know there is a decibal thing going on, but he needs to drowned out. Can he be made to get a permit since it’s the business district amd give him a spot at the fathest end of a parking lot????

  5. Yass! Let’s make this an organized event. Everyone should grab a bullhorn, NYE noise makers, and signs of their own, and surround these guys. Let’s express our own freedom of speech!

  6. So what you didnt mention Ed is that the times square merchant association does not have the financial support from the area businesses as it once had preChinavirus…
    So Saturday concerts are on hold until funding is secured…..
    Maybe 2 or 3 of the 5 listeners of BTR would like to donate to organization.
    As of July 1st the only businesses in Time Square that are financial supporters are
    PLAKA
    DAIRY QUEN
    KILWINS
    BELLA MOZZARELLA
    PETES TIME OUT

    Each of these businesses have been donating in excess of $10,000.00 per year since 2012 and provided the public with over 450 free concerts.

    The towns financial support is minimal with a discounted yearly permitting and electric for free.
    Maybe a little pressure on remaining nonparticipating businesses in the square,surrounding businesses and town hall would help all this.
    Anyone interested in donating please contact me please and for a verbal list of non participants.

    John
    239 872 4221

    • You trying to fight judgement and hatred using words like preChinavirus? Let’s get down to the truth. It is decreasing The amount of gold in your pocket and you just want the other haters gone.

  7. I know he isn’t there all the time, but if there was a way to let people know when they get there, I’d bet you’d have support from the entire 7 miles of the island. Can we get someone to do a FB alert? The calvery will be on its way with mega phones, horns, kazoos, pots and pans….and umbrellas.

    • Yes, great idea.
      When I see fake preacher/real life scammer Adam LaCroix on the beach, I break out my flag that outs him for who he really is.
      Within minutes others volunteer to help me hold it.
      It also is very large and thick, we block his vision and muffle his sound.
      No shortage of volunteers.

    • I love the support it will temporarily work but we have already gotten customer complaints about just the whole shit show and they just move on down the street.
      We need our Saturday bands to return that will do it.
      Please help bring the bands back and we combat him with good music and not more excessive hate and unneeded obnoxious noise.
      I thank Joy for what she has done but it’s not gunna work long term..

      • When the bands are there they move to the street corner or the actual beach to disturb sunset. They then bother the Italian restaurant. They don’t go away just because the band plays

    • Jessie, Awesome idea!! If we go in numbers, with our noise makers and signs, we can be louder then this Jerk!!

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