By: Sharon Aron Baron
It was a beautiful Sunday afternoon in Coral Springs and Nickolette Mottola decided to bring her friend’s children to nearby Orchid Park to take Christmas photos.
Mottola, a resident of Cypress Run, went with friends and her boyfriend Angel Ruiz. They brought a blanket, a crate and a small Christmas tree as props for the children. In the background, there was loud music from a party at the pavilion which had a bounce house. Ruiz said they had their own country music playing, but it was much lower than the party’s music.
When they were almost finished, a man appeared behind his fence which was next to the park and told them what they were doing was illegal.
Then his wife appeared.
“We were leaving, and this lady appears and starts screaming at us and spewing profanity,” said Ruiz.
The property in question, owned by Debbi DeCaro and Craig Richardson backs up to Orchid Park at 1001 Coral Springs Drive.
Ruiz said DeCaro accused them of using the park as a photo studio as well as being there the day before.
“Every week, they were here yesterday…yesterday! Every weekend,” shouted DeCaro on video Ruiz took.
He insisted they weren’t there the day before, and that they weren’t taking paid, professional photos.
“Meanwhile there were six other people taking pictures at the park.”
That same day, a woman was taking photos of her sister for a maternity shoot.
He said, “After we walked to the parking lot, she’s screaming at the pregnant lady.”
Ruiz said the park ranger on duty said they were doing nothing wrong. But DeCaro’s erratic behavior upset their children anyway.
“We had two kids, and one started crying and other kid started crying from the nearby party. A father was fishing with his son and his kid was upset. Then they left.”
After Ruiz took a second video of her, he said she stormed off to her car and held down the horn for around five minutes.
Louis, Goldstein, Assistant Director Parks and Recreation for the City of Coral Springs said if a family wants to utilize a public park, they have every right to be there. However, if they are a professional photographer, they will need a permit.
“If they operating as a professional, then we inform them of this,” he said.
Goldstein said they are allowed to be there as long as they’re not being disruptive with music, and added that they have been trying to accommodate the neighbors as best as they can. “We’ll speak with the neighbor if necessary.”
After posting the videos on social media, Ruiz was informed that last week, the same homeowners sprayed a woman with a pressure washer through the fence.
Ruiz, who was raised in Coral Springs and graduated from Coral Glades High School, just asks that she is more understanding.
Coral Springs Talk has reached out to DeCara, however, at press time we have not heard back.
“You live behind a park. Its like living behind a train station and being upset about trains, ” said Ruiz.
He believed there was no need for the profanity.
“We never cursed. We were nice to her husband. There was no need to get so berated, especially with kids around.”