Wednesday, May 1, 2013

5 shot at crab festival: So-called Fla. "crabfest" site for revelry and violence

5 shot at crab festival: So-called Fla. "crabfest" site for revelry and violence, A Florida event labeling itself as a “crabfest,” is anything but, and an incident involving five individuals shot at the gathering underline the actual nature of the so-called festival.

Yahoo! News reported May 1 that the festival is not your typical coastal get together with ales and crustacean culinary delights, but rather “a series of unofficially organized street parties.”

The unregulated party, with an estimated 10,000 revelers, ended with five people being shot, including one man who later died.

And as the Sun-Sentinel reports, shooting or not, the city of Williston’s “Crabfest” event isn’t even remotely connected to anything resembling a traditional crab festival.

The event has no corporate or state advertising, and thus in the past no sanctioned step-up of police presence or crowd-control was made available. The large-scale event is promoted primarily through social media circles and word of mouth.

The Levy County Sheriff's Office says the event has been plagued by violence for years. Because of that, officials tried to be prepared this year.

“The Levy County Department of Public Safety had pre-staged ambulances and a Medical helicopter in the area for the Festival. The large crowds made it impossible for ambulances to reach the wounded,” reads a press release from the Levy County Sheriff’s Office. “Despite the large crowds walking and dancing in the roadway, Deputies and EMS personnel were able to evacuate the victims in law enforcement and private vehicles.”

The police have since arrested Devonte Tremaine Ocasi, 19, in connection with the shootings. Ocasi was initially charged with attempted first-degree murder, discharge of firearm with injury, aggravated of assault with a firearm and possession of a firearm. He’s currently being held on a $1.5 million bond. An upgrade to a murder charge is now likely.

Police are still investigating the possibility of a second shooter involved in the incident. No motive for the shooting has been released.

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