Palm Beach Post:
In the 24 hours, Port St. Lucie resident Scott Van Duzer has gone from a local pizza store owner to a man wanted across the world after he bear-hugged President Barack Obama Sunday afternoon.
“It’s been pretty crazy,” Van Duzer told The Palm Beach Post Monday afternoon in between television interviews. “I’ve never been caught up in a moment.”
Van Duzer, a native New Yorker, made headlines when he hugged Obama as the president visited Van Duzer’s Big Apple Pizza Sunday afternoon while on his campaign tour.
Contrary to some media reports that stated Van Duzer got the OK from Secret Service to hug the president, Van Duzer said that wasn’t the case.
Before the president “kicked open the door” as Van Duzer remembers it, the Secret Service went through the restaurant and removed anything that could possibly be used as a weapon, including knives and scissors. Van Duzer said he never asked the Secret Service if he could put his arms around the president because he didn’t even know he was going to do it.
“I didn’t know I was going to hug the guy,” founder of the Van Duzer Foundation said. “It was something special that I’ll never forget.”