Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Pirate Attack Hero Feted With Parade Down Main Street In Lakewood Ranch, Later Ordered Off Private Property

Local merchant seaman turned hero, 54-year old Ken Quinn of Lakewood Ranch, was honored by the community with a gala parade down Main Street yesterday evening, attracting over 100 supporters and well-wishers. He recounted his harrowing experience on the high seas to friends and family over dinner at MacAllister's Grill at the end of Main Street.

At the end of the evening's festivities, the Quinns--Ken, wife Zoya and their, by now, sleeping 3-year old son, Jason--along with small group of close friends walked back to their cars around 9:30 PM. According to several members of the group, they were confronted by a Lakewood Ranch security guard as they walked on the sidewalk, advised that they were trespassing on private property and ordered to vacate the premises immediately.

When Quinn told the increasingly agitated security guard who he was and why they were there, the unidentified guard reportedly said, "Buddy, I don't care if you're the Pope or even Dick Vitale himself, ain't nobody allowed on Main Street after 9:30. And that includes all of you people. Now, we can do this nicely or I can pepper spray the lot of you and have your asses dragged off to jail. It's up to you."

When the Quinn's dozing toddler suddenly lurched awake, the security guard, surprised by the sudden movement, pulled his can of Mace and let fly, temporarily blinding the Quinns and most of their party. Almost simultaneously, several other security officers, both on foot and in marked vehicles, arrived at the scene and began to handcuff the choking, crying members of the group.

Manatee County deputies were called and took 9 members of the Quinn homecoming dinner party to jail and remanding the 3-year old to juvenile detention. All remain in the Manatee County lockup this morning, pending a bail hearing for trespassing on private property, resisting arrest by uniformed security personnel and littering.

Schroeder-Manatee Ranch vice president, Dan Perka, said, "We were glad to have hosted the Quinn's homecoming celebration, bringing in extra people and the additional business, as well as the favorable press we received as a welcoming destination for family-oriented events, but, when the sidewalks are rolled up at 9:30 at night and the stores are closed, you become common trespassers and will be treated as such."

"Where are those damn Navy SEALs when you need them?" Ken Quinn

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