Friday, August 5, 2011




Bid-A-Wee man arrested after association leader injured

August 03, 2011 08:01:00 PM

PANAMA CITY BEACH — A Bid-A-Wee man with a history of opposition to the neighborhood association was arrested for allegedly beating the association president with a club in his front yard.

Randy Martin, 55, was arrested July 29 about 30 minutes after allegedly beating Jimmy Smith with an 8-inch black club as Smith was mowing his lawn. Both men live in the Bid-A-Wee neighborhood, and Smith is president of the neighborhood association.
Martin is charged with aggravated battery, aggravated assault and battery on a person over 65 years old.

According to police reports, Smith, 66, was emptying grass from his lawn mower when Martin pulled up in front of the yard in his Corvette and made a sexually explicit remark. Smith told Martin to leave.

But Martin got out of his car holding the club and raised his shirt to show he had a pistol holstered on his hip, authorities reported.

“I need to take care of you,” Martin told Smith, according to an arrest affidavit. Investigators charge that Martin then beat Smith with the club and his fist on the face, hand, leg and arm. Smith sustained a fractured thumb and some cuts in the fight.

In May, Martin sent a letter to the editor of The News Herald alleging Smith “abused his authority.” Smith and Martin had been at odds over the placement of gates at Bid-A-Wee beach. Neither Martin nor Smith would comment for this report.

Smith has since filed for a restraining order against Martin, requesting he be prohibited from coming within 500 feet of himself, his wife, whom Martin allegedly also has threatened, or any community meetings. In the application for the order, Smith alleges Martin sent him an email saying he “was gunning for me,” and describes an incident at a June 4 community meeting where Martin stood up in front of 300 people and threatened him.

“It leads me to believe that he has reached his breaking point and will kill me ...” Smith wrote in the application for the restraining order.

Article found at:
Comment by:  lexxel
8:19 PM on August 3, 2011
"According to police reports" pretty well summarizes the matter. I have read the 6 page report and it is clear that the Police responded first to the Smith residence and took all their information from Smith without speaking to Martin. They saw injury to Smith.

They then went to look for Martin and arrested him at his home. Martin was also injured according to the report. There were no witnesses to the incident.

The police simply took the word of the 1st person they contacted, made up their mind and went to look for the 'perp'. The amount of investigation consisted of seeing some injuries to Smith and accepting exactly what he said as the absolute truth.

If the police had spoken to Martin first and saw his injured wrist they probably would have arrested Smith. As often happens in cases where there are no witnesses the first person to talk to the police gets the best shot at having their story accepted. Martins story is entire different but short of a trial you won't hear it.

Due to the language Smith attributes to Martin I have not reproduced the text of the complaint here as it would be X-Rated and of course there were no witnesses to confirm any of the details in the report, it was simply written by Officer Kelly based on the unsupported information given by Smith.

I do note that Officer Kelly says in part: "As I approached the door Mr. Martin was standing inside the house behind a glass door holding a wash cloth on his right arm."
WJHG TV text of aired report:


55 year old Randy Martin, who also lives in Bidawee, is charged with aggravated battery, battery on a person over the age of 65 and aggravated assult.

Police say Martin confronted Smith with a club and a hand gun, while Smith was mowing his front lawn.

By the time officers arrived, Smith's mouth, arms and legs were reportedly bleeding.  Smith has been at the center of a controversy involving locked gates on the Bid-A-Wee accesses.
But Martin says the fight had nothing to do with the gate issue.  He says he and Smith have had problems for the past five years.  He also says Smith's accusations are not true.

Mr. Martin will be arraigned 9/13/11 at 9 a.m. in front of Judge Fensom at the Bay County Courthouse.   Mr. Martin has retained Steve Meadows of Meadows & Kelly Pa, 433 W. Oak Ave, Panama City, Fl 32401.

On 8/11/11 at Judge Allen L. Register will hold a domestic violence hearing on an application by Smith for a keep away injunction for Martin.