Maybe they ought to rename Memorial Day -- just call it Melee Day after all the beach blanket brawls.
During the Memorial Day weekend on Sunday evening, deputies were contacted about a violent feud along the Sanibel Causeway involving two groups of beach-goers who had gotten into a verbal feud earlier that afternoon, according to a news release from the Lee County Sheriff's Office.
One of the groups left the beach, but two members of that group later returned with a rifle to confront the men in the other group, according to the Sherifff's Office.
When the other group saw the rifle they armed themselves with a baseball bat, knife and beer bottles. The man with the rifle and another man got into a struggle over control of the rifle, causing the rifle to fire a bullet that flattened a tire of a nearby vehicle, the release stated.
A deputy in the vicinity heard the rifle fire and ran to the scene to investigate. One of the men, Justin Gordon Lupski, 30, reportedly fled the scene in his vehicle but other responding deputies soon found the vehicle and tried to stop it.
Deputies said Lupski then rammed a marked patrol car and fled again causing a chase, during which he crashed his vehicle into a canal before swimming to a nearby dock where deputies and K-9 Units finally caught him, according to the Sheriff's Office.
Lupski is charged with Aggravated Battery, Aggravated Assault, Flee & Elude and Obstructing without violence. The suspect was transported to a nearby hospital for medical treatment. Upon release from the hospital, the suspect will be arrested. He faces charges including Fleeing and Eluding a Law Enforcement Officer, Resisting Arrest without violence and Aggravated Assault with a Motor Vehicle.
In other Memorial Day beach brawl news, The Florida Times-Union in Jacksonville reported several fights erupted amid holiday crowds, causing cops to call in backup from other departments to shut part of the beachfront down a few hours.
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