Large crowds at Wrightsville Beach kept public safety officials busy on Aug. 31, with one beachgoer arrested after three run-ins with law enforcement.
Wrightsville Beach Park Ranger Shannon Slocum responded to a texted tip notifying him of a group near Public Access 32 smoking cigarettes and drinking around 1:15 p.m. When Slocum responded, no one in the group was smoking. He reiterated the smoking and drinking policy. No civil penalties were issued.
Shortly after Slocum’s interaction with the group, Wrightsville Beach Police Officers Appler and Holmes noticed alcohol possession and issued tickets. The officers alerted Slocum to the situation, and moments later, Slocum received another texted tip that the group was still drinking.
Slocum, Appler and Holmes all responded the third time, when Jeremy David Spencer, 27 years old, became angry and was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of drunk and disorderly conduct.
The arrest took place around 2 p.m.
Spencer was issued a civil penalty for littering before his arrest. According to Slocum, Spencer warned officers he would throw the ticket on the ground if issued, which he did.
Spencer was transported to the New Hanover County jail on a secured bond of $1,000.
Wrightsville Beach Ocean Rescue also faced a busy day. Captain Jeremy Owens reported approximately 15 rescues around 7 p.m.
Owens said the risk of rip currents increased at low tide, around 5:30 p.m., with most of the rescues taking place later in the day. While rips were sighted up and down the beach strand, the majority of rescues took place around Public Access 29.
Rips are especially common around Public Access 29, the Stone Street access.
Ocean Rescue also responded to a couple missing children reports and minor medical problems. Owens said all emergencies were safely handled and addressed.
“It was a beautiful day and we had a big crowd and everyone went home safe,” Owens said.
Ocean Rescue remained on patrol until 8 p.m.
The Wrightsville Beach Fire Department reported a quiet day with no emergencies at 6:45 p.m.