Pinellas County Sheriff's Deputies escorted 13 protesters off Innisbrook property, after hecklers interrupted U.S. Senator Marco Rubio's address to RNC delegates during a breakfast at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club Tuesday.
"They were warned that if they ever come back they will be arrested," said Marianne Pasha, Pinellas County Sheriff's Office Public Information Coordinator.
Pasha says that while the delegate breakfast was underway at Innisbrook Hall, deputies saw a mini-van drop off a man near the hall. Deputies confronted the man when they saw that he did not have credentials for the event. Deputies also saw other people outside the hall who appeared to be demonstrators, according to Pasha.
At the same time deputies were speaking to the suspected protesters outside the hall, other protesters were inside the hall heckling Rubio.
A middle-aged man with a tattoo on his neck who had been sitting at one of the tables shouted, "Hey Rubio!" about midway through the senator's speech.
"We demand that the GOP stop whoring themselves out to the big money interests that are raping this planet and trying to squeeze every last dime out of the working class," he yelled,according to the Tampa Bay Times.
Marco shot back with a humorous response while delegates showed their support for him. Then other hecklers in the audience stood up to speak.
A woman who identified herself as Cara Jennings of Palm Beach stood up while Rubio was speaking and shouted, "The Republican agenda doesn't work for America." She was drowned out by hundreds of delegates chanting, "USA, USA," according to TBO.com.
Pasha says that state authorities escorted the hecklers from Inverness Hall. Sheriff's deputies escorted all 13 protestors off Innisbrook property.
"Everybody was very cooperative and provided I.D.," said Pasha.
Seven of the protesters were women, six were men. Pasha said most of the protestors were from Florida and lived in places like Spring Hill, Boca Raton, Lake Worth and Tampa.
Pasha says that there are no plans for the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office to increase security at Innisbrook during the RNC, but security might be reconfigured a bit.
"We have a very visible presence there," she said.
RNC delegates from Florida and South Carolina are staying at the resort. Security has been tight; however Innisbrook's restaurants have remained open to the public during the event.