Spring breaker speaks out after his arrest for ‘inciting riot’ on FMB

A chaotic scene on Fort Myers Beach for spring break started when witnesses say two people began dancing on the hood of a parked police car.

The song “F the Police” was also played on a big speaker.

When deputies arrived, about 100 people took off running through Time Square.

“It got crazy. There were people dancing on cop cars. And kids with speakers,” said one riot participant.

Cell phone video shows the two young men jumping on the deputy’s squad car. Almost everyone in the group escaped arrest, except the man holding the speaker.

The Lee County Sheriff’s Office initially arrested 20-year-old Marquez Ballin for felony incitement of a riot, but those charges got dropped. He says he got caught up in something he never wanted to be a part of.

“Everyone is on spring break and wants to be around the music. Once the crowd just started getting bigger and bigger, it just got out of hand,” Ballin said.

But other beachgoers said there’s no excuse for the spring break stunt.

“There’s a fine line between having fun and going over the line and they obviously went over the line,” said resident Cary Briganti.

Ballin says he plans to become a police officer after joining the marines. He also says he’s learned his lesson from his clash with the law.

“I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do this on purpose. I got caught at the wrong time. I’m unlucky. But yeah, I’m sorry. I did not mean for none of that to happen at all,” Ballin said.

Witnesses say both men on top of the squad car were ultimately arrested, but the sheriff’s office has not yet confirmed their arrests.

Reporter:Oliver Redsten
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