Crime

The beach swimming area had children. And a guy spearfishing, cops say

Ronald Barton
Ronald Barton

As threats to a fun Saturday afternoon go, which is scarier — a sober shark or a drunk guy spearfishing near swimmers that included kids?

The Monroe County Sheriff's Office says it arrested one of the latter, 38-year-old fisherman Ronald Barton, on Sombrero Beach in Marathon.

Keys deputies say they received a report of an inebriated man trying to sell a person marijuana. Marine Deputy Wilfredo Guerra rode out on a personal watercraft and found Barton.

"Barton appeared intoxicated and dropped the speargun in roughly 15-feet of water,"the sheriff's office says.

Once ashore, MCSO says Barton admitted he was spearfishing in a well-marked swimming-only zone. Deputies saw children swimming in the area as obviously as Barton stumbling as he spoke. Someone told Deputy Guerra that Barton offered to sell him cannibis.

"The witness further stated he watched Barton load a speargun and go into the water, return to shore and re-load the speargun several times," the sheriff's office said.

Barton was charged with illegal spearfishing, tampering with evidence and misdemeanor marijuana possession.

  Comments