Scott Van Duzer Big Apple Pizza & Pasta bear hug: President Obama gets warm embrace in Fort Pierce

Pizza shop owner says emotions took over

FORT PIERCE, Fla. -- On the way to Palm Beach County from his campaign stop in Kissimmee on Sunday, President Barack Obama made an unannounced visit to a Fort Pierce restaurant, surprising the owner of Big Apple Pizza.

But it is how the owner of the restaurant greeted the president that caused the visit to go viral, catching attention from around the world.

Overcome by emotion, owner Scott Van Duzer did something to the president that no one in history may have ever done.

When the president walked into Big Apple Pizza Sunday afternoon, he called Van Duzer by name, slapping his hand as if they were old friends.

"In the clearest day, I don't think anyone is going to say that the president is going to walk in here," said Van Duzer. "It was that he just walked in and said 'hello.' He came in and said, 'Where's Scott?' And I was like 'oh no here I am' and brought it. "

Van Duzer not only brought it, but he did something that could be a first in American history.

"That's the old bear hug. I grabbed him and picked him up," said Van Duzer.

Weighing in at 260 pounds, Van Duzer and his 6' 3" frame picked up and left the president with his feet dangling.

Instant panic for U.S. Secret Service who are trained for just about everything but maybe not bear hugs.

"They took a couple steps but I put him right back down. It's not like I was going to carry him out or take him anywhere," said Van Duzer.

The hug was not a big hit among the protectors for the president. Worldwide, Van Duzer's presidential grasp is catching attention.

The restaurant stayed busy throughout Sunday with a flurry of customers wanting to know what it was like.

Van Duzer said the president told him he wanted to stop by, meet him and recognize him because of his charitable work with the Van Duzer Foundation. Every month, the restaurant raises money to help one family and also holds numerous blood drives.


Comments

Read More

Ashley Taylor Wright threw her baby at a deputy at Pensacola Dillards, Okaloosa County police say Ashley Taylor Wright threw her baby at a deputy at Pensacola Dillards, Okaloosa County police say

A Pensacola woman, Ashley Taylor Wright, has been arrested after authorities say they tried arrest her for shoplifting and she threw the baby at a deputy as she tried to escape.

Stephen Amaral robbed while naked swimming woman distracts him Stephen Amaral robbed while naked swimming woman distracts him

A Tennessee man found this out the hard way when a woman dipped in his pool, naked, as her husband robbed his home.

Giant purple chicken stolen in Putnam County, three men charged with grand theft Giant purple chicken stolen in Putnam County, three men charged with grand theft

Putnam County investigators say it was "fowl" play when three young men stole a giant chicken.

Invisible man in Fort Pierce prefers his stolen cigarettes mentholated Invisible man in Fort Pierce prefers his stolen cigarettes mentholated

A man in Fort Pierce said he used his "powers of invisibility" to abscond with a carton of menthol cigarettes, but his conscience appears to have gotten the best of him.

David John Sirko: Suspected burglar left love notes, photos of underwear on head, deputies say David John Sirko: Suspected burglar left love notes, photos of underwear on head, deputies say

A Golden Gate Estates, Florida man was arrested Monday after Collier County sheriff's deputies say he broke into a woman's house, left her love notes and took photos of himself with her underwear on his head.

Randy Zipperer mac and cheese dispute: Florida man accused of stabbing brother after food disapears Randy Zipperer mac and cheese dispute: Florida man accused of stabbing brother after food disapears

Authorities say two Florida brothers got into a tussle over missing macaroni and cheese that ended with one stabbing the other in the stomach.

Walmart wedding: Wayne and Susan Brandenburg get married at Shallotte, North Carolina store Walmart wedding: Wayne and Susan Brandenburg get married at Shallotte, North Carolina store

For years, Wayne Brandenburg shopped at his local Wal-Mart three or four times a week. He never thought he'd pick up a wife, or marry her, there. But that's exactly what happened.

Man jumps on manatees video: YouTube, Facebook video posting investigated by wildlife officials Man jumps on manatees video: YouTube, Facebook video posting investigated by wildlife officials

Video of a man jumping on two manatees prompts legal investigation.

Filomena Tobias flips off Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls player, paper reports Filomena Tobias flips off Joakim Noah, Chicago Bulls player, paper reports

The woman has been identified as Filomena Tobias, widow of CNBC commentator Seth Tobias, of Jupiter.

Etta Lopez accused of slapping deputy to help her quit smoking; charged with assualting an officer Etta Lopez accused of slapping deputy to help her quit smoking; charged with assualting an officer

California woman slaps sheriff's deputy to quit smoking