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Rally held for fisherman who was harassed by Sebastian homeowner

Posted at 7:12 PM, Mar 23, 2019

SEBASTIAN, Fla. -- A rally was held Saturday for a fisherman who was hosed down with water by a woman who claimed she owned the water where he was fishing.

South of the Sebastian Inlet is Jose Ortiz's favorite fishing spot. For two decades, Ortiz has tried his luck here. But on March 14th, his luck ran out.

Ortiz was confronted by a homeowner from her dock, who claimed she owned the water where he was fishing.

"Automatically starts being real nasty, saying things shouldn't be said to people," Ortiz said.

Then, the homeowner began spraying Ortiz with a hose.

"She was laughing at me and basically got me out of the water she did not own," he said.

Saturday, dozens of boaters rallied to Ortiz's defense, anchoring next to the dock at the center of the controversy.

Others watched from shore.

Dale Davis says he mostly fishes north of the Sebastian Inlet, but wanted to show support for fisherman now, and in the future.

"When you squirt us with a water hose, we're going to come tenfold," Davis said. "We want to encourage children, come out and fish and enjoy what God has given us."

According to a report from the Sheriff's Office, the homeowner's property does not extend into the water like her neighbors, so Ortiz was not trespassing.

Ortiz doesn't want the woman to go to jail, but maybe make some kind of charitable donation.

"Try to spread awareness from this. People shouldn't be acting like this," Ortiz said.

Ortiz plans to file charges against that homeowner, who we were unable to reach on Saturday.