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Two sides to every story

August 20, 2014
Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

To the editor:

Regarding the road block at the Sky Bridge following Hurricane Charley. To be brief, I was the man in the orange vest and hard hat working the "desk" at the bridge. It was simple: great destruction, power lines in the streets, most impassable due to debris, standing water, hundreds of tons of sand, manatee, you name it. Dangerous place for the National Guard, much less residents. The clean up was accomplished so quickly because we kept streets open as possible for equipment.

He "watched helplessly as bulldozers....". Did anyone really believe that equipment was going to "scrape the island clean and destroy everything "?

And the "man with four little daughters." I was the guy with the list who let you on, or didn't let you on. That "poor fellow" came in three different cars that day, and we could not let him on. Then he shows up in a van and puts on a tremendous show. I stopped him, told him "sorry."

National Guard and Lee County Sheriff's Office took over.

A captain stepped up and told the man to turn around and leave because "others are more important today." Still he wouldn't put van in park or even acknowledge request and kept looking toward the curb searching for something (we later learned why. He had a friend video taping this). At that point he began to lurch the van forward. After being ordered multiple times he was tasered and removed from the van, injuring a deputy who managed to put the van in park to prevent it running over all of us.

It was finally brought under control.

I opened van rear door and there were two girls in booster seats.

And the close of his letter (paraphrase)-- "not to be prepared for the storm but for the aftermath..." Referring to a well organized and executed plan as something negative? My close is: "How many people were injured on Fort Myers Beach post-Charley by debris/power lines/equipment?" I don't seem to remember.

Mark McConnell

Fort Myers Beach



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