For some, it’s the party of the year. That’s why thousands of people spent Saturday on Tybee Island for a controversial beach party known as Orange Crush.
Tybee Police say it was the product of 26-year-old George Turner. Officers arrested him Friday night at a house party with 200 other people.
Police say the homeowner did not want them to be there. Turner now faces a felony charge for allegedly damaging the house. He is also charged with promoting an unpermitted event.
Tybee Police would not comment further but say the investigation is ongoing.
Tybee leaders said the event was canceled, but thousands of people still showed up.
“We got worried that it would get shut down because the promoter got arrested last night, but we’ve been out here and it’s been amazing,” said Brandon Adams who is visiting from Alabama. “Everybody is clubbing. Everybody is still linked up. Everybody still came out to support the Orange Crush event,” he said.
Tybee’s South end was packed with people and dozens of Tybee Police officers, Chatham County police officers and Chatham County Sheriff’s deputies.
Officers used orange barricades to block off most side streets, and one lane in both directions of Highway 80 and Butler Avenue.
“We understand the police,” said Savannah State student Kierra Hamilton. “We’re just here to have a good time. That’s what Orange Crush is for. It’s right before our finals and we’re just trying to enjoy this weekend.”
“The police have gotten worse, real worse,” said Tiana Dixon. “They should be letting people have fun. They’re pulling people over for no reason.”
Some people who live on Tybee Island stayed inside or used caution tape to barricade their driveways. Other people chose to join in on the party.
“It’s crazy,” said Alan Roach, a resident on Tybee Island. “You can’t get on or off this island right now, so it’s better just to stay, relax and enjoy yourself.”