Folly Beach party organizers could be penalized

The photo above shows the massive beach party Folly Beach officers struggled to control. (Provided)

By Nikki

FOLLY BEACH, S.C. (WCIV) -- The organizers that sponsored the big Fourth of July party on Folly Beach could face some stiff penalties. According to police, they were not authorized to set up shop near 10th Street.

The location was the scene of what has been described as a riot that resulted in several arrests and officers injured.

Chief Dennis Brown of the Folly Beach Department of Public safety says a detective is currently investigating last Wednesday's event to find exactly what went on, and if the beach party may have contributed to the brawl.

"We had no knowledge of that event that was coming. We had no warning. Nothing," Brown said.

Had they known, the police chief says Independence Day on the beach would have been free of injuries, trash, and arrests.

"If the laws had been adhered to, we might not be having this conversation," Brown said. "The event should not have taken place."

After the brawl, many people have since pointed the blame at the organizers: After Midnight Parties (AMP) and Good 'Ole Boys.

"That's not cool. If you're doing that, don't come to Folly, please," said Folly Beach resident Greg Elliot.

Elliot says he supported the recent alcohol ban in response to the Fourth of July party that turned rowdy.

"Stay at home. Leave your trash in your own yard," Elliot said.

The event's organizers have issued this statement:

"AMP and Good Ole Boys spoke with the Folly Beach special permits office the week before July 4th and were informed that providing speakers and custom cups would be ok if they "blend in" as well as act in a respectable manner."

"I've been talking to the folks who did the event and they're saying none of their folks were involved and this was not the case. That's a conversation for a later date," Chief Brown said.

If evidence is found to indicate organizers may have been in the wrong, Brown says they could be penalized.

"There is a possibility of a financial responsibility being attached to this, if in fact, there are charges that could come out of this," Brown said. "If they are found to be in violation of that city ordinance, we will seek to rectify that."

The organizers of the party also stated Wednesday that they were sorry for the incident and the injuries that occurred that day. However, they say the people involved were not affiliated with their group and the "riot" didn't occur near their tents.