One Man’s TikTok Leads to Another’s Criminal Record – Viral Video Highlighting Spring Breaker Escaping from Police Car
March 28, 2022 Don Pumphrey, Jr. College, Criminal Defense Social Share
If there’s one thing millennials and “Gen-Z” kids love, it’s social media. While it’s a great way to socialize amongst each other, there is still harm that can come from trying to reach internet stardom. For instance, last Spring Break a viral video highlighted what was meant to be a funny video of a young Florida man escaping the back of a police car.
However, what may have been a joke at the time turned into several arrests. The case of Dominic Glass highlights the effects of not only disorderly conduct on the beach, but how one criminal charge can quickly escalate to several others within seconds.
Spring Break is already a hectic time in Florida for the police. There are plenty of arrests made each year in the sunshine state of young students getting out of hand on the beach. To read all about the kinds of arrests that are frequently made during Spring Break in Florida, read our blog here.
If there’s one thing that’s certain, it’s that you should never try to run from the police. It will only make matters worse, and it will instantly make it more difficult to have a good defense to your case.
Further, one seemingly harmless act as a witness to a crime can turn you into a suspect yourself. This is precisely what happened to the bystander discussed below, who intervened with police – an act that quickly led to him receiving charges of his own.
With the already heightened crimes that take place during the month-long party-fest of Spring Break, it is important to understand just how quickly things can go from bad to worse while on holiday. This blog will cover the 2021 case of Dominic Glass, along with the charges he faced, and what the authorities think of the intersection of social media and crime.
Filmed on Camera – What Happened?
On March 17th, 2021, a native Florida man named Dominic Glass, 18, was arrested on Clearwater Beach. During the Spring Break holiday, around 7 PM, a fight broke out amongst a crowd of young adults. Police had been patrolling the area and saw the fight, which had escalated quickly due to the large crowd its non-compliant nature. Two men were arrested from the fight, including Glass, who was placed in the back of a police car.
A large crowd was gathered around the police vehicle, and while the officer was trying to walk around to the driver’s side to drive away from the beach, one person in the crowd jokingly opened the back door of the police car.
This led to Glass hopping out of the police vehicle and sprinting down the beach. The large crowd started cheering and ran with Glass, who only made it a few hundred feet before authorities caught up to him and a few other Spring Breakers.
In total there were 26 officers that responded to the crowd and ensuing escape. Glass, along with four others from various incidents, was apprehended. One person was arrested for battery against a police officer.
The entire incident can be seen on video, which went viral on TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram.
So, what exactly were the charges? How are the authorities reacting? This blog covers the details and highlights how trying to reach social media fame with a joke can land you in handcuffs instead.
The state’s definition of disorderly conduct falls under Florida Statute section 877.03. Under the law, a person has breached the peace and has committed disorderly conduct when they have the nature to corrupt the public morals, outrage the sense of public decency, affect the peace and quiet of a person(s) who may witness them, or engages in brawls or fighting. If a person is convicted of a disorderly conduct charge, the penalties include up to $500 in fees, up to 60 days in jail, and up to six months of probation or community control. To read more about the specifics of disorderly conduct, read our blog here.
Fleeing to Elude
When people think of fleeing to elude, the most common instance that comes to mind is a high-speed car chase. However, that is not always the case. The incident of the Spring Breakers on the beach is an example of someone fleeing to elude charges. Although Glass was not the initial person to open the police car door, the fact that he ran off onto the beach was enough to receive an initial charge of fleeing to elude arrest.
Under Florida Statute section 316.1935, it is illegal in the state of Florida to flee or attempt to flee from the police. To prove fleeing to elude took place, it must have occurred when the police officer was in an authorized vehicle, with the agency markings displayed.
To read more about fleeing to elude, read our blog here.
Resisting an Officer
Under Florida Statute Section 843.02, resisting an officer without violence is when a person resists, obstructs, or opposes arrest from a law enforcement officer. The penalties for resisting an officer without violence include up to a $1,000 fine, up to one year in jail, and up to one year of probation or community control. To read more about the specifics on resisting an officer, read our blog here.
Not a Joke – Aiding Prisoner Escape
For one young man, his attempt at making a joke at the scene of arrest turned into a criminal charge of his own. Adam Asad, 18, was shown in the viral video opening the back door of the police car which led to Glass’ escape.
It was after this that the video shows the chaos that ensued, with Glass and other Spring Breakers sprinting on the beach to run away from the police. Little did Asad know that one small move of opening the police car would result in criminal charges of his own. Once police chased down Glass, Asad, and several others, several arrests were made. Asad was arrested for aiding prisoner escape, along with resisting arrest without violence.
Under the Florida Statute section 843.12, a person who knowingly aids or assists a person in escaping, attempting to escape, or who has escaped from an officer or person who is entitled to the lawful custody of such person, is guilty of aiding escape. This is considered a third-degree felony in Florida and is punishable by fines up to $5,000 and up to five years in prison.
The authorities said that Asad was bragging about his soon-to-be internet fame that would arise from his actions. However, he was instead faced with criminal charges for aiding escape and resisting arrest.
Response from the Authorities
Although the viral video received a large number of views and traction on social media sites such as TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook, not everyone was in on the joke. The Clearwater Police Department state that the incident is no laughing matter.
Rob Shaw, the spokesman for the Clearwater Police Department, spoke with WFLA in a video interview regarding the 2021 incident: “Everybody thinks it’s funny, everybody thinks it’s a joke. This is not a joke. I mean, these are unruly people out here behaving in inappropriate ways on the beach.”
Further, Shaw claims he is disappointed in the large amount of virality that the video has gained in such a short amount of time. On Twitter alone, the video has over 20,000 views. “It’s not a joke to us, it’s not a laughing matter. It’s not about page clicks and page views and social media,” Shaw expressed to WFLA. “This is about people violating the law and then flouting it.”
The Clearwater Police Department took to Twitter to post a photo of Glass’ mugshot. Under the caption, it reads, “You may have seen the video. Here’s the handcuffed suspect who tried to flee from the police on the beach. Dominic Glass has been charged with escape, disorderly conduct, and resisting an officer without violence.” They later updated the tweet with a quoted post indicating that they had also arrested the person (Asad) who opened the door to allow the escape.
Finding a Defense Attorney in Tallahassee, Florida
If you have been accused of a crime during Spring Break, or you are the parent of a loved one who has been accused of a crime during the school holiday, it is imperative that you seek out the help of an experienced defense attorney. In the case of Dominic Glass, things quickly escalated and got worse from the time of the initial arrest. Don’t run away from the police. And don’t let one mistake ruin the course of your future. The team at Pumphrey Law Firm has represented young clients all across the state of Florida. They understand that young people make mistakes and are prepared to work hard to fight for their client’s freedom. Call (850) 681-7777 or send an online message today and receive a free consultation.
Written by Karissa Key