CORONADO (NEWS 8) – Coronado’s Sand Man has been a beach community fixture for years, but he was recently ticketed for his public “sand art” and said he is tired of being harassed by the police.
Alberto Avila, known as Sand Man, has made sweeping beauty – not to make money but to make people smile.
“He always brightens everyone's day and puts a smile on everyone's face around Coronado,” said Will Graham.
Avila recently moved to El Paso, but was flown back to Coronado after community members started a GoFundMe page so he could attend the Coronado 4th of July Parade.
During his holiday visit, Avila said there was dust-up with a few Coronado officers.
“I love Coronado. I told him [the officer] I did not have problems in Mission Beach, and said maybe I should go back there. He said, ‘yeah, go back over there,’” said Avila.
According to Avila’s daughter, he was recently given a ticket for blocking a drainage system.
Coronado’s police chief is not sweeping Sand Man's claims under the rug. He said he has already met with Avila and worked out a compromise so he can continue his art in a lawful manner.
"It's a good thing for tourists to look at, locals for business, it's a good thing all around, there's no reason to give him a hard time,” said the chief.
As a spiritual man, Avila is not one to hold a grudge. He said he still has love for the Coronado Police.
Avila has terminal liver cancer – the reason why he had to move back to Texas – where he will return to on Wednesday.
Sand Man said his hope is that he will be around long enough to come back to Coronado around Christmas time.