Tourists jump gate of St. Augustine fort closed due to gov't shutdown

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ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. —

The government shutdown wasn't enough to stop a group of tourists from seeing the Castillo de San Marcos in St. Augustine.

The fort is one of hundreds of national parks and monuments that are now closed due to the government shutdown.  

However, park rangers said a group of 13 adults and two children went inside the fort on Monday afternoon, ignoring the "closed" sign outside the gate.

A French visitor, who lives in Clermont, explained why he ignored the sign.

"I said, 'Why I could not get into the fort when you pay tax?' And, I said to people, 'Let's jump the gate!' And, I went, I jumped the gate, and people followed me," said Eric Masurier.

The group was inside for about five minutes before deputies arrived and made them leave.

Park rangers said each person could have faced a $150, but since they all admitted to being wrong they only received a verbal warning.