Well-known acrobat handcuffed at Myrtle Beach over thong ordinance; video goes viral


MYRTLE BEACH, SC (WBTW) — Well-known acrobat and aerial performer Sam Panda was asked to leave the beach for violating the “thong ordinance,” and a video of her being handcuffed by police has gone viral.

Both Horry County and Myrtle Beach governments prohibit thong bathing suits under an ordinance about indecent exposure on the beach. The law has been in place for years, and officers typically give a warning for the first offense.

Sam Panda, originally from Pittsburgh, is known for miraculously surviving a fall in Bali during a performance when she broke her neck in several places and damaged her spine. The fall was filmed and Panda went viral by showing her strength and great attitude in a smiling photo from the hospital bed.

A video of Panda being handcuffed by a Myrtle Beach police officer and their lengthy discussion about her bathing suit was posted on her social media. She comments on the post, “A woman called the cops on me because of my bikini. That’s how this all started.” Panda also used the hashtag “#cancelMyrtleBeach in her post.

After the ordinance was shown to Panda, she complied and was permitted to leave the beach without further incident.

Myrtle Beach police said officers were initially called for a report of two women who were wearing thong bikinis and a see-through top, who were “dancing and soliciting videos on the beach.”

When officers arrived, they spoke with the women to advise them of the ordinance related to nudity. “One of the women attempted to walk away from officers and was detained,” the department reported.


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