Miami Seaside on alert after one other wild weekend with near-record-breaking crowds
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. Tourists come from all over the world and their reasons for flocking to South Beach this season vary.
“We didn’t go to college, but we did come on spring break,” said one.
“I’m not in school, but I would like to be,” said another.
Another said she was studying to be a medic in Auburn.
The problem – made worse by the COVID-19 pandemic – was that the crowd was difficult for Miami Beach police to control.
Monday night officials moved along Ocean Drive to meet a crowd of partygoers, many of whom were running. One person was arrested.
The area was much quieter than the night before.
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On Sunday, after a curfew went into effect at 8 p.m. in the city’s entertainment district, many people partied in the streets and even jumped on cars.
The damage can be seen a day later on the tops of vehicles near 8th Street and Pennsylvania Ave. One car even smashed the windshield.
“We couldn’t really enjoy our vacation. We were here at the Bentley and it was a lot of the younger millennials who came out for the spring break and just acted frantically, ”said Tearney Bush, a visitor from Texas. “I’m not used to it and I get out of here every year.”
A meeting of the city’s emergency commission took place on Sunday. After the city declared a state of emergency, the dam closures and curfew were officially extended.
The commission unanimously decided that the 8 p.m. curfew would apply for the next three weekends and be enforced Thursday through Sunday until at least April 12, the official end of the spring break.
“These are necessary efforts and measures necessary to protect our residents, our community, and most importantly, our officials,” said Ernesto Rodriguez, officer of the Miami Beach Police Department.
After another wild weekend of near-record-breaking crowds, authorities expect it to calm down for at least a few days. But the 8 p.m. curfew could be extended to other days of the week if problems arise again.
Police arrested at least 1,050 people from February 5 to March 21, including 398 criminal offenses. At least 102 firearms were seized on the streets of Miami Beach and there were more than 11,000 traffic quotes.
The city no longer refers to this timeframe as spring break, but as a time of high volume and high impact.
“We see that the people who come here and party are not necessarily college students,” said Michael Gongora, vice mayor of Miami Beach. “We’ve followed the arrest records and know that most of them are from another state and don’t necessarily come for the spring break. We believe the pandemic has made the situation worse. “
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