The television station – the first to break the news of the theft of the benches – reported that Robert Bryson paid George Gonzalez to take out the benches. The station stated that Bryson wished to tell his side of the story but changed his mind when reporters with the station showed up at his OB home. The report did not indicate where Bryson lived.
But a simple internet search shows Bryson lives at 1605 Ocean Front Street, the lot just north of where the benches were located.
Gonzalez told Channel 10 a different story:
“This person told me that he had gone over this situation with the city on numerous occasions and they were illegally placed and also they were causing a lot of noise and disturbances and trash and defecation during the evenings,” said Gonzalez. I’ve never had this situation happen to me before. I assumed everything was legit.”
Gonzalez also stated that Bryson told him that he went to the police yesterday, Wednesday, July 20, to give details of the circumstances, but police were mum.
10News also reported:
Gonzalez said he would be glad to put the benches somewhere where everyone can agree on. The families said they just want the benches back where they were.
“We’re glad that they were recovered and that they are in good shape and we’d like to see them returned to their proper locations here,” said John Story. The Story family told 10News the benches are scheduled to be replaced on Friday by the crane operator who removed them.
However, crane operator said he has been put on hold by authorities until further notice.