Walton County Sheriff's Office increases patrol as teenagers get 'rowdy' in South Walton

Sierra Rains
Northwest Florida Daily News

SANTA ROSA BEACH — The Walton County Sheriff’s Office has increased patrols in areas where residents say teenage spring breakers are "running amok". 

Residents living in the small gated community of Longue Vue between Rosemary Beach and Alys Beach reportedly advised the Sheriff’s Office that the problem had become “really bad” last weekend and earlier in the week. 

"It is getting scary down here, and they are running amok in our neighborhood and on the beach out of control," Longue Vue resident Kim Jackson said in an email to the Daily News.

More:Spring break 2021: Northwest Florida law enforcement continues to crack down on underage drinking

More:Spring break 2021: Okaloosa, Walton officials ready for whatever is thrown at them

Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Lindsey Darby said there have been several reports of high school youths being "loud and rowdy" in residential areas near the beach along Scenic Highway 30A. 

“When the kids are escorted off the beach, they’re going up into those neighborhoods and trying to hang out in the roadways, so the deputies are having to go around and kick them out of those places and get them back to where they’re staying, their homes or their condos or wherever,” Darby said.

Things typically “get crazy” this time of year because the area is a popular family vacation spot, she said.

Traffic backs up along County Highway 30A near Seacrest Beach Friday afternoon.

College students have less of a presence than in the past. Rather, it’s teenagers coming down with their families for spring break that appear to be causing problems. 

Residents such as Jackson fear that the teenagers may be drinking and using drugs, but Darby said but no arrests have been made at this time. 

More:Spring Break 2021: Which schools have canceled, which ones have not? See the list

More:New beach rules: Walton beach vendors get briefing from county code enforcement

“The deputies haven’t caught anyone drinking or doing drugs or anything like that. But they’re teenagers, so they get loud and they get rowdy and the residents obviously have a problem with that, understandably so,” Darby said. 

Some residents of this neighborhood off County Highway 30A have complained about teenagers trespassing through the gated community to get to the beach.

The Sheriff’s Office routinely steps up patrols during spring break to help control the beaches and the neighborhoods. Deputies have reportedly had a heavy presence in the Longue Vue community in response to the recent reports. 

"They (teens) climb over our front entrance car gate and climb over the gate from the beach.  It is a nightmare situation," Jackson said.

She said she has witnessed kids urinating on homes and on the walkway to the beach.

Tourists fill the streets and sidewalks of County Highway 30A near Rosemary Beach and Seacrest Beach Friday.

“We do our best to increase our presence overall in general down there and in the beach communities just to try to help mitigate it as best we can, but it’s unfortunately normal this time of year,” Darby said. 

The issues in the Longue Vue area appear to have gone down with a more law enforcement presence, she added. Parents are encouraged to monitor their children while they’re on spring break for safety reasons and to be mindful of the locals living in the area. 

A group of teenagers congregate on the sidewalk near the County Highway 30A neighborhood of Seacrest Beach Friday afternoon.

On Friday, other residents in the neighborhood confirmed that teens are cutting through Longue Vue from both the Gulf of Mexico access and Scenic Highway 30A.

“We encourage everyone to be respectful of the fact. This is a tourist destination and we know that a lot of these people are on vacation, but keep in mind there are people that live here,” Darby said. “They do have to get up and go to work and they enjoy their peace and quiet as well.”

Want more local news? If you're already a subscriber, thank you! If not, please subscribe and help keep coverage of the most important local news coming.