Shortly after 9:30 p.m. the evening of Sept. 11 a resident of Central Avenue in Flagler Beach reported to 911 that he’d heard a gunshot coming from somewhere northeast of his location, toward the Lazy Pelican, a beach-side hangout at 2444 South Oceanshore Boulevard.
A Flagler Beach police officer spoke to the Lazy Pelican owner, who told him that a woman, Maureen Witkowski, was outside moments before the cop’s arrival, but that she herself had not heard anything, as she’d been inside the establishment. The owner fetched Witkowski for the cop. When Witkowski, 38, appeared outside, she had “a hard time standing still and was slurring her words” while the officer spoke with her, the officer reported. She told the cop that she’d heard “a loud boom” and pointed northeast toward the beach.
So the officer, joined by then with another Flagler Beach cop, continued to search the area, only to be waved down by another resident on South Central Avenue who told the pair that he’d heard the gunshot coming from the direction of the Lazy Pelican, southeast of his home. The two cops went back there.
Just as they were getting out of their cruiser, the Lazy Pelican owner came outside and told them that a friend of Witkowski’s, who was still inside, told her that cops had returned, prompting Eleanor to sprint to the bathroom briefly. By the time the cops walked in, Witkowski was sitting at the end of the bar with her friend, who gave her name to cops as Stephanie Looney. One of the cops went into the bathroom and looked in a drawer in a table there. Inside, he saw a “silver black hand grip revolver.”
Witkowski told the cops that the gun was hers, and that she’d hidden it in the bathroom, according to a police report. She said that she’d gone outside to leave, but that Looney wasn’t ready to go. Witkowski got mad–in her retelling of the incident to cops–and fired the gun. “Maureen [Witkowski] said she shot it east but pointed west,” the police report states, enigmatically. A gun-residue test on Witkowski proved positive for residue.
An employee of the Lazy Pelican subsequently provided a statement to police, about “hearing two ladies talking about someone getting a .38 in the head,” the report states.
Looney and Witkowski were both issued no-trespass orders regarding the Lazy Pelican, at the bar owner’s request. Witkowski, of 2310 South Flagler Avenue, was arrested on three charges: reckless or negligent discharge of a firearm among residential properties, possession of a firearm while under the influence of alcohol, and violation of permit to carry a concealed weapon. She posted $2,500 bond.
Less than two weeks ago, another Flagler Beach bar, Finn’s, was the scene of a violent brawl that landed two people in jail.