By Rachel Brown Hackney
Report of a possible trespassing incident in Siesta Village recently led SNL to a tale of “parkour” at Key Corners Plaza.
Work is underway not only to transform the look of that shopping center but also to create a new sports bar there.
Although they technically may have been trespassing in the wee hours of Feb. 7, three 20-year-old Sarasota men told the deputy who investigated the incident that they were engaged in parkour. They did not end up being charged, the Sheriff’s Office report said.
Fans of the Mission Impossible movies know that star Tom Cruise always seems to find himself running from would-be assailants, making the best use of available rooftops. That is a form of parkour.
The World Freerunning Parkour Federation describes it as follows: “According to the strictest definition, Parkour is the act of moving from point ‘a’ to point ‘b’ using the obstacles in your path to increase your efficiency.”
It had its origins, the Federation says, “in a training program for French Special Forces known as ‘Parcours du combatant,’ or ‘The Path of the Warrior.’”
Chris Brown — who also owns The Hub Baja Grill, The Cottage, the Summer House Restaurant and the Beach Club — bought Key Corners in November 2017. He and his business partner, Mike Granthon, are remodeling the property so it has a Nantucket appearance, as they have explained to Siesta Sand.
They started the permitting process with Sarasota County staff in late May 2018, county records show. Siesta architect Mark Smith has been working with them. In fact, it was Smith who requested written conformation from county staff in January 2018 that a new restaurant with a patron area of 1,200 square feet would be permitted on the site, based on the parking plan he had prepared. That letter of approval appears to have been released on March 6, 2018, the county document adds.
As for the details of the parkour incident: At 3:50 a.m. on Feb. 7, the Sheriff’s Office report said, someone flagged down a deputy at the intersection of Canal Road and Ocean Boulevard, across from the construction site, and pointed to three people the person had seen climbing on the roof at Key Corners.
The deputy saw the suspects walking away from the construction site, the report noted. When they spotted him, it said, “[T]hey changed direction …” However, the deputy was able to catch up with them in front of Key Corners, the report added. The person who had flagged down the deputy confirmed for the deputy that the three young men were the same people he had observed on the site, the report pointed out.
Each of the suspects agreed to speak separately with the deputy, the report continued. “They stated they entered the construction site by pushing down and climbing over the orange mesh fencing. They each told me they knew they should not be in the construction [area],” the deputy wrote. “They stated they were climbing on the scaffold, but did not damage or steal anything.”
One suspect, Zachary L. Farley, was the first to describe what they were doing on the site as parkour, the report noted. A second suspect, Jack H. Sloan, told the deputy that he was unaware of the “No Trespassing” signs on the site until after he exited the property.
(The third person involved in the incident was identified as Isiah J. Garza.)
“I observed several … signs that read, ‘No Trespassing,’” the deputy wrote. “This area is a designated construction site,” the deputy continued. “Anyone who trespasses on this property commits a felony!” the deputy added, referencing Florida Statute 810.09(2)(d).
The “No Trespassing” signs also displayed the contractor’s logo, the deputy pointed out.
However, after speaking with a sergeant, the deputy learned that the size of the letters on the signs did not conform to the specifications of the statute, the report noted.
The deputy had obtained the necessary identification information from the suspects, the report continued, so the deputy allowed them to leave the site, pending charges.
Later that day, the deputy wrote, he learned that no damage or sign of theft had been discovered at the site; therefore, the president of the construction company said he would consult with the owners of the business, who had hired him, before making a decision about prosecution.
A week later, on Feb. 14, the report said that the construction company president did not want to pursue prosecution “at this time.” The deputy advised the person about how charges could be filed later, the report added.