Miami officials announced that more than 1,000 people have already been taken into custody and about 80 guns have been seized since early February, when spring breakers started pouring into the Florida city famous for its nightlife and beaches.
A large crowd descended again on the city over the weekend and brought “chaos and disorder” to the city, police said.
Miami Beach commissioners also passed a vote unanimously on March 21 to extend curfews and closures at the popular tourist destination until at least March 30, with the option of extending it through April 12.
The curfews are intended to effectively shut down a famous hotspot for spring breakers in one of the few states nationwide that has already fully reopened from lockdowns over the CCP virus pandemic.
#YourMBPD is working hard to keep our community safe. Since Friday, we have made over 50 arrests and confiscated 8 firearms. We’d like to thank all of our partner law enforcement agencies for their efforts and support. #MBPDprotecting #CollaborationIsKey pic.twitter.com/Vrg9mOFcOy
— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) March 21, 2021
More than half of the 1,000 people arrested during this spring break’s season weren’t local Floridians, but traveling from outside the state, city manager Raul Aguila said, adding that a large portion of the travelers came “to engage in lawlessness and an ‘anything goes’ party attitude”—something spring breakers have a reputation for.
One of the parties over the weekend descended into chaos, and Miami police were forced to fire pepper balls into crowds of partiers and arrest a number of people who refused to submit to the new curfews while causing chaos.
Authorities said one restaurant was “turned upside down” in a melee, its “chairs were used as weapons,” and broken glass covered the floor. Several gunshots were also heard, and a young woman was hospitalized with a badly cut leg.
Though most of the crowd remained peaceful, they refused to submit to an 8 p.m. curfew that was enacted by Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber earlier that night. The mayor also declared a state of emergency, saying the crowds that have descended on the city recently are “more than we can handle.”
“When hundreds of people are running through the streets panicked, you realize that’s not something that a police force can control,” Gelber said at a March 21 meeting.
Many of the spring breakers traveling to the state didn’t eat at restaurants or patronize businesses, but mainly congregated by the thousands in the streets, officials said.
Several videos on social media show crowds of people in the popular tourist city flouting social distancing rules as they refused to go home after the curfew was extended.
Miami Beach authorities, meanwhile, banned alcohol from the beach, along with all alcohol sales after 10 p.m., and even sent text messages to tourists warning, “Vacation Responsibly or Be Arrested.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
From NTD News