DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - WFTV got a first-hand look at religious demonstrators who are allegedly harassing the spring breakers, who bring millions of dollars to Daytona Beach's economy.
Last month business owners said similar demonstrations hurt their DeLand shops, and now the demonstrators are popping up on the packed Daytona Beach pier.
Channel 9’s Blaine Tolison found out tourists are now complaining to police, but the police chief said there’s not much that can be done to stop the demonstrations.
“When you women walk around with strings exposing your bodies, guess what? That’s a wicked fruit,” said demonstrator John McGlone.
McGlone calls himself an evangelist.
He shouts over a megaphone on the public boardwalk of Daytona Beach as another man records him and another holds up a sign.
“You vile, disgusting rebels against the holy God,” McGlone shouted over the megaphone.
He said he used the megaphone because the Bible tells him so.
“The Bible said lift up your voice like a trumpet and cry aloud. Spare not that my people turn from their sin. I want as many people to hear it as possible,” he said.
Many of the college students visiting the beach for spring break said they feel like they’re being harassed.
At one point a group of girls formed a human chain in an attempt to move McGlone.
“I just feel like nobody should be judged. He calls everybody drinkers and sinners and all it does is irritate people who are trying to have fun on their vacation,” said tourist Sonya Daines.
Daytona Beach Police Chief Mike Chitwood said police won’t warn, cite, or arrest McGlone over concerns of violating his First Amendment rights.
“What he's saying is disgusting and insulting, he's preaching hate, but you know what; that's what makes our country what it is," Chitwood said.
Religious demonstrators bad for business in Daytona Beach
Deputy seen on video berating tow truck driver punished with 40-hour suspension
FHP investigates fatal hit-and-run in Pine Hills
Dunnellon High School teacher accused of molesting 15-year-old student
More than 40 Outback, Carrabba's, Bonefish restaurants closing