• Homeless damage Daytona Beach shops, businesses owners say

    By: Lauren Seabrook


    DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. - Some Daytona Beach shop owners told Eyewitness News that they’re fed up with the problems homeless people are causing around the Daytona Beach Boardwalk and pier.

    "Every day we have tourists running in, scared with their kids, saying that all the bums are harassing them, running after them for money and food. And if they tell them no, they're being aggressive about it,” Fantasy Beachwear owner Ray Hayyet said.

    Read: Daytona Beach homeless shelter on hold, city leaders say

    Police said Alexis Martinez vandalized four buildings on Main Street. Investigators said Martinez snatched a fire extinguisher from its case on the pier and used it on these storefronts. 

    "(She) smashed a couple thousand dollars worth of windows on my building,” Hayyet said.

    Martinez told investigators she broke the windows because two men were chasing her, and threatening to rape her, so she thought breaking the glass would alert police. Business owners believe alcohol and drugs are leading to most of the problems around here.

    Read: Volusia County Council approves $4.5 million for Daytona Beach homeless shelter

    Daytona Beach police have a substation about 500 feet away. Police Chief Craig Capri told Eyewitness News Friday that it’s not illegal to be homeless, so unless they're breaking the law, police can't do anything.

    Hayyet believes if officers patrolled the area more, they'd find crime, or at least deter it.

    "It's hurting us. People don't want to come here no more,” Hayyet said.



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