Controversial Beach Bear Weekend to Return?

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Photo courtesy of Bearsurrection.com

Craig Jungwirth, the man once accused of making threats against the LGBT community in South Florida, claims he’s planning on organizing another Beach Bear Weekend, now also named Fort Lauderdale Bear Week.

In 2016 after the murder of 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Jungwirth was accused of making Pulse-style threats of violence on social media. But federal prosecutors dropped the charges in January of last year because of a lack of evidence. In June of 2017, he was arrested again for violating the terms of his probation stemming from his vandalization of Rumors Bar & Grill and walking out on a check at Courtyard Café.

Multiple individuals and publications have accused Jungwirth of being a scam artist.

A phone message left with Jungwirth was not returned in time for publication. When SFGN reached out to attorney Ron Baum, he said he no longer represents Jungwirth. Jungwirth emailed SFGN in November promoting the event, which is scheduled for March 26 to April 1. But there’s another bear-themed event also scheduled that same week – Bearsurrection.

The same dates are not the only thing the two events have in common. The Beach Bear Weekend site is laid out in such a way that it appears the two events are associated. Manuel Barrios, who co-owns Bearsurrection with Gene ward and Marcos Sanchez, said Jungwirth is using Bearsurrection’s name and logo without permission.

On BeachBearWeekend.com, the Bearsurrection logo is used. Above the logo, an ‘S’ has been added to Bearsurrection. It reads “Bearsurrections Presents Fort Lauderdale Bear Week.”

Also, visitors on Beach Bear Weekend’s site who click on “Events Every Day” are redirected to Bearsurrection.com.

“As soon as we started promoting, he started promoting as well. We have nothing to do with Beach Bear Weekend and never have. We created Bearsurrection as an alternative to Beach Bear Weekend. Fort Lauderdale and Wilton Manors are international destinations and we didn’t have an event for the bear community. We have all the conditions to have an event like that in our city,” Barrios said.

Barrios said Bearsurrection is in talks with the logo’s owner to get the legal rights to the logo. Until then, he said, there’s nothing that he and his partners can legally do to stop Jungwirth from using it.

So, for now, he said, they’ve decided to just ignore Jungwirth. “We cannot give him the chance to reply to us.”

As for the event itself, Barrios said he’s very optimistic about how Bearsurrection will turn out. For more information on Bearsurrection, visit Bearsurrection.com.


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