To the editor:
I am a former shrimper who is a transient in Fort Myers.
Recently, I was arrested on a misdemeanor for open container on Fort Myers Beach. After spending a night in jail, I was told I was not allowed on the Beach anymore. My arresting officer of the Lee County Sheriff's Office told me that since I was a sex offender, they would arrest me if I stepped onto the Beach again.
The sex offense incident happened in 1987. It involved my girlfriend at the time that said that I raped her. I was given five years probation on a 10-year sentence, but the sentence was overturned, and I was out in six months. They knew the sentence was incorrect.
I want to know why I am not allowed on the Beach and if that arresting officer has the right to arrest me if I set foot on it again. I cannot walk down the street and look for a job because I am getting threatened to be thrown in jail.
I'm scared to walk onto the Beach and get my clothes at a friend's house, because of a threat from one police officer. He told my friend that if he saw me on the Beach, he would arrest me every time. Is this right?
I have nine grandchildren. I do not know what to do about this situation. Can I be disallowed on the Beach for something that occurred so long ago?