Can You Get Ticketed for Wearing a Speedo in Public?

You can if your name is Bob Hezzelwood.

The 61-year-old Florida man was ticketed by a sheriff’s deputy for wearing a Speedo bathing suit at the beach– and now he’s suing the sheriff’s department.

Hezzelwood said he has been visiting Bonita Beach in Bonita Springs, Florida for nearly a decade in his Speedo and no one has confronted him or complained about his appearance.

At least not to his face.

However, that all changed when a local sheriff’s deputy issued Hezzelwood a ticket for trespassing and told him not to return to the beach.

That was a year ago. A judge tossed out the trespassing case, but just a couple weeks ago “Beach Bob” (as he is known to locals) announced that he plans to sue the sheriff’s department on grounds that his civil rights were violated.

“It frightens me and embarrasses me to go public with it. But by the same token, I don’t know what else to do,” Hezzelwood told local news reporters. “I’m a civilian out here who’s been picked on by a little bully deputy and that’s wrong. It’s just wrong.”

When Hezzelwood was given the ticket more than a year ago he was told by the deputy that he was never to return to the beach wearing a Speedo. The citation also noted that Hezzelwood’s swimsuit didn’t cover his private parts in an “appropriate manner.” Though, Beach Bob maintains that the officer exaggerated his claims.

Does anyone else see the humor in this?

I grew up in Hawaii and have seen many a Speedo in my lifetime (often on people who have no business sporting them). So, on one hand I applaud Beach Bob for standing up for Speedo wearers everywhere. After all, Speedos are not much worse than other skin baring swimsuits that some female beachgoers strut their stuff in. Then again, I can’t say I am ever happy when my young daughter comes running up to me at the beach laughing about how she can see “that man’s butt” (and goodness knows what else).

What do you make of Beach Bob’s lawsuit?

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Michele Cheplic

About Michele Cheplic

Michele Cheplic was born and raised in Hilo, Hawaii, but now lives in Wisconsin. Michele graduated from the University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Journalism. She spent the next ten years as a television anchor and reporter at various stations throughout the country (from the CBS affiliate in Honolulu to the NBC affiliate in Green Bay). She has won numerous honors including an Emmy Award and multiple Edward R. Murrow awards honoring outstanding achievements in broadcast journalism. In addition, she has received awards from the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association for her reports on air travel and the Wisconsin Education Association Council for her stories on education. Michele has since left television to concentrate on being a mom and freelance writer.