Man repeatedly spits in a police car after causing a disturbance at Mulligan’s Beach House

Joseph Benvenuto
Joseph Benvenuto

On Friday afternoon, at approximately 2:00 p.m., the Sebastian Police Department received a call about a fight inside Mulligan’s Beach House.

As officers arrived at the Sebastian restaurant, they observed a man, later identified as Joseph Benvenuto, sitting on the front steps with blood on his face. He told the police he did not hit anyone.

According to the affidavit, management at Mulligan’s told officers that Benvenuto, 33, was asked to leave the establishment after he “struck another bar patron.”

Officers then spoke with the victim, who said he did not want to provide his information and did not want to be involved in the situation, the affidavit said.

Mulligan’s refused to trespass Benvenuto, but they wanted him off the property. Police informed Benvenuto that he had to leave the property. Officers asked him to call someone multiple times, but he just remained seated and did not move.

When Benvenuto refused to call someone to get a ride, the police asked him if they could use his phone to contact someone. Benvenuto agreed but gave the officers a name that wasn’t in his phone.

“After numerous attempts of trying to get Benvenuto to obtain a ride home from the restaurant and lack of cooperation on his part, Benvenuto was subsequently placed into mechanical hand restraints,” police said.

Benvenuto was charged with Disorderly Intoxication and transported to the Indian River County Jail.

On the way to jail, Benvenuto started spitting on the floor in the backseat. When the officer asked him to stop, Benvenuto continued. 

“Where am I supposed to spit,” Benvenuto asked the officer.

“I advised Benvenuto not to spit. Benvenuto then continued to intentionally spit in the back of the vehicle. Benvenuto was advised that he would be charged with Criminal Mischief if he continues to spit in the back of the patrol vehicle,” the officer wrote in the affidavit.

Once Benvenuto was removed from the patrol vehicle, the officer observed “large quantities of saliva in various places of the back of the patrol vehicle. 

“Benvenuto’s action of spitting in the back of the patrol vehicle caused these officers to use additional resources and time to properly clean the affected area,” the affidavit said.

Benvenuto’s blood-alcohol level was .21.

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About Andy Hodges
Andy Hodges was born in Annapolis, Maryland, and grew up living on the Loxahatchee River in Jupiter, Florida. He has been a radio and TV personality since the mid-1980s. He has worked for WFLX-TV (Fox 29), WIRK, WLIZ, WIXI, WKSY, WRMF, and others. In 1994, Andy took a break from broadcasting and was a software and systems engineer for various companies in Atlanta, Georgia. In 2002, he moved back to Florida and settled in Sebastian, where Andy's family has lived for over 45 years. He returned to the broadcasting sector in 2005. Andy joined Sebastian Daily as our editor-in-chief in 2016.