Gulf Breeze man jailed after attempt to become a “martyr” for a local beach access

Posted on May 11, 2020 by Staff reports

Edward James Welch, 50, of 503 Navarre Street in Gulf Breeze, was arrested May 4 by Gulf Breeze Police Department after dispatch reported that a male suspected was causing a disturbance in the Navy Cove area.

A responding officer arrived on scene and found Welch “yelling and carrying on” about beach access around the Navy Cove.

The officer noted he heard the yelling from roughly 50 yards away from where Welch was described to be in “close proximity” to the complainant, yelling at him in a “threatening manner.”

Police commanded Welch away from the area, and he complied.

According to the GBPD report, an officer detected a “strong odor” of alcohol emitting from Welch. “I also observed him to have a ripped pant leg on his pajama bottoms,” stated the report, which went on to say that when police attempted to calm him down he again yelled and screamed after being told to quiet down and not disturb anyone further.

Welch’s arrest report states that after being read his Miranda Warning he told GBPD he had come to the Navy Cove access to become a “martyr” for the beach access, telling police he had asked a homeowner to step out from the house and fight him.

Welch was booked into Santa Rosa County Jail around 2 a.m. and faces two second-degree misdemeanor charges of loitering or prowling and disorderly intoxication of a public place causing a disturbance. He was released the same day at 11:01 a.m. after posting a $250 bond for each count.