Skip to comments.Camera rolls as sandbar visitors hang from hooks
Posted on 07/19/2004 3:17:13 AM PDT by Elle Bee
Camera rolls as sandbar visitors hang from hooks
BY STEVE GIBBS
Upper Keys Staff Writer
ISLAMORADA Now they're hanging themselves by meat hooks at the sandbar.
On July 12, officers from the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, two Islamorada paramedics and the U.S. Coast Guard responded to a call at the Whale Harbor sandbar, a popular party hangout with a reputation for sometimes over-the-top behavior.
What they saw shocked them.
Five young people had erected a bamboo tripod, consisting of 15-foot-long poles with a block and tackle attached to the apex.
A line extended down to a metal bar from which five large brass-colored meat hooks had been attached to 1-foot cords.
A young woman, her feet splashing the surface of the shallow water, hung from the contraption, the hooks embedded firmly into her shoulders.
She did not seem to mind, judging by a film of the incident taken by the Coast Guard.
Coast Guard personnel were among the first to witness the spectacle. Not knowing whether any local laws were being broken, they ferried Lt. Tom Brazil out to question the five.
"By the time I got there no one was hanging from the tripod, but a young man was walking around with the hooks across his shoulders and back, the hooks embedded into his skin," Brazil said.
Brazil described the man as heavily pierced and tattooed.
"We got a call that someone was hurt," Brazil said to the man. "Is everybody OK?"
"OK," the man answered, according to Brazil.
"What are you doing?" he asked.
"We're just enjoying the afternoon," the man replied.
"OK," Brazil responded. "As long as nobody's getting hurt who doesn't want to be."
Brazil said there are no laws against somebody embedding hooks into their body and hanging from a tripod at the sandbar.
A Coast Guardsman took video pictures of the group as they took turns hanging from the device. That film has been turned over to a state agency for review to determine if, indeed, any laws were broken.
Island Community Church Pastor Tony Hammon said he is not happy about what's going on at the sandbar. He recalled an incident where a local youth was punched in the face by an unknown assailant at the sandbar and needed reconstructive surgery.
"I choose not to go to the sandbar. Everyone knows what goes on there," he said. "But I don't think we can turn our backs and wink at what goes on there. We've created a monster there by allowing it to escalate out of control."
A local body piercing specialist with Piercing Perfection said she was disgusted to learn of the recent self-mutilation spectacle.
"That's absolutely ridiculous," she said. "You can't take your body and expose it to bacteria like that, especially in public. These kids are just trying to get attention. They're thrill-seekers."
The latest incident comes on the heels of other questionable conduct that concerns some locals.
Capt. Joe Leiter, Islamorada district chief for the Monroe County Sheriff's Office, said that the sandbar has become a popular spot for adult video film crews.
"During the summer of 2003 they filmed 'Girls Gone Wild' at the sandbar," he said.
"During the bartender's convention [now known as Hospitality Week] this past May there was a crew filming for a Web site, realwildgirls.com," Leiter said. "We were ready for them, and we busted them and confiscated the film just as they were ready to leave. Their leader was charged with disorderly conduct."
Brazil, who has seen a number of bizarre incidents in his 23 years as a Monroe County law enforcement officer, said the meat-hook tripod tops them all.
"We answered a 911 call once in the Lake Surprise neighborhood and were greeted by a naked lady who was screaming that people were coming out of the pictures in her house," he said.
"Once we answered a complaint that a Tavernier family in the trailer next door was beaming radio waves into their house and that aliens were putting a pressure dome over them," Brazil said. "The father and two daughters were wearing aluminum foil on their heads and bodies to deflect the waves.
"But people hanging themselves with meat hooks. That takes the cake."
(Excerpt) Read more at keysnews.com ...
Why reconstruct the face of someone dumb enough to be hanging there as a target? Future Florida voters - if they can find the voting areas.
So those are what hanging chads look like. It's also how they feed the alligators.
I guess they hadn't gotten around to that one yet.
Key West Citizen & Bait Wrapper?? =o)
"Brazil, who has seen a number of bizarre incidents in his 23 years as a Monroe County law enforcement officer, said the meat-hook tripod tops them all."
I don't know ---the one with the naked lady "screaming that people were coming out of the pictures in her house" is pretty bizarre.
And the one with the father (Mel Gibson?) and two daughters "wearing aluminum foil on their heads and bodies to deflect the waves" is right up there too.
I recall after the 2002 elections, one enlightened soul on DU expressing a desire to "take monkey tranks and hang myself from a meathook". Same guy?
What the hell is wrong with people anymore???
Highest and best use for the paper
On the other hand, you can visit Earnest Hemingway's 6 toed cats.
Apparently she never uttered the phrase, "Get yer meathooks offa me."
(Hanging around the sandbar means something different than I thought.)
She came down from Cincinnati
It took her three days on a train
Lookin' for some peace and quiet;
hoped to see the sun again.
But now she lives down by the ocean.
She's takin' care to look for sharks.
They hang out in the local bars,
And they feed right after dark.
Can't you feel 'em circlin', closin'in, honey
Can't you feel 'em swimmin' around?
You got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and your the only bait in town.
Your got fins to the left, fins to the right,
and your the only girl in town.
If you outlaw embedding hooks into your body and hanging from a tripod at the sandbar, then only outlaws will embed hooks into their body and hang from a tripod at the sandbar.
Typical Kerry voters. Nothing to see here.