Miami Beach unveils curfew due to uncontrollable crowds and declares state of emergency

Spring breakers invading Miami Beach have become so uncontrollable that authorities imposed a curfew on Saturday and declared a state of emergency as SWAT teams were seen moving in to clear people out.

A SWAT vehicle was filmed moving down Ocean Drive – a popular party street – and using an LRAD, also known as a sound cannon, to get people to disperse, video posted to Twitter shows.  

The move to control the crowds followed weeks of wild partying in Miami Beach, which is no stranger to uncontrollable spring break throngs of young people.

But this year the volume is clearly higher than in previous years, said Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, who’s expressed concern about the lack of coronavirus restrictions – like wearing a mask – in Florida.

‘I think it is in part due to the fact that there are very few places open elsewhere in the country, or they’re too cold, or they’re not open and they’re too cold,’ he said.

The crowds of young people crushing the beach city have sparked worries of a coronavirus ‘super-spreader’ event, while alcohol-fueled partiers have been starting fights in restaurants and in the streets, officials said.

Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements said he is concerned the situation will become unmanageable. 

Scroll down for video 

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

People were seen dancing on top of cars and taking pictures before police moved in to disperse the crowds for violating curfews

People were seen dancing on top of cars and taking pictures before police moved in to disperse the crowds for violating curfews

People were seen dancing on top of cars and taking pictures before police moved in to disperse the crowds for violating curfews

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, on Saturday as people were seen not wearing masks

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, on Saturday as people were seen not wearing masks

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, on Saturday as people were seen not wearing masks

Miami Beach Police Department officers enforce the South beach 8pm curfew, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach Police Department officers enforce the South beach 8pm curfew, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach Police Department officers enforce the South beach 8pm curfew, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida

A\u00A0Miami Beach Police Department vehicle moves throw a crowd of spring breakers during a party\u00A0in Miami Beach, Florida

A\u00A0Miami Beach Police Department vehicle moves throw a crowd of spring breakers during a party\u00A0in Miami Beach, Florida

A Miami Beach Police Department vehicle moves throw a crowd of spring breakers during a party in Miami Beach, Florida

Cops were seen arresting a man during a curfew crackdown on partygoers in Miami Beach on Saturday as another officer looks on

Cops were seen arresting a man during a curfew crackdown on partygoers in Miami Beach on Saturday as another officer looks on

Cops were seen arresting a man during a curfew crackdown on partygoers in Miami Beach on Saturday as another officer looks on

A man was seen in handcuffs after police officers arrested him during a curfew crackdown in Miami Beach on Saturday

A man was seen in handcuffs after police officers arrested him during a curfew crackdown in Miami Beach on Saturday

A man was seen in handcuffs after police officers arrested him during a curfew crackdown in Miami Beach on Saturday

Miami Beach Police detain a man as he plays loud music on a wireless speaker on Ocean Drive last week, during the start of the crackdown on Spring Breakers

Miami Beach Police detain a man as he plays loud music on a wireless speaker on Ocean Drive last week, during the start of the crackdown on Spring Breakers

Miami Beach Police detain a man as he plays loud music on a wireless speaker on Ocean Drive last week, during the start of the crackdown on Spring Breakers

On Saturday night, crowds were seen stampeding away from the scene screaming, while the man taking the video suggests that cops ‘may be spraying pepper balls as they did in the past.’

Other videos posted to Twitter showed massive groups of people partying on the streets after the curfew began.

In one video, a man was seen throwing money into the air as cops move in and cheers from the crowd are barely heard over the sound cannon. In another, a group of girls were seen twerking in front of a group of cops.

‘I hear cops coming from every direction, so I want to make sure they’re not going to swarm this corner,’ says Joel Franco, a man who has posted videos documenting Saturday night’s curfew.

A group of women dance on the beach during spring break parties in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday despite a curfew order

A group of women dance on the beach during spring break parties in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday despite a curfew order

A group of women dance on the beach during spring break parties in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday despite a curfew order

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a walkway near the beach, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a walkway near the beach, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a walkway near the beach, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a walkway near the beach, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a walkway near the beach, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a walkway near the beach, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

Miami Beach Police Department officers arrest a man as they enforce the South beach 8pm curfew, in Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach Police Department officers arrest a man as they enforce the South beach 8pm curfew, in Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach Police Department officers arrest a man as they enforce the South beach 8pm curfew, in Miami Beach, Florida

Miami Beach Police Department officers pile on top of someone to arrest them as they enforce the South beach 8pm curfew during spring break, in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

Miami Beach Police Department officers pile on top of someone to arrest them as they enforce the South beach 8pm curfew during spring break, in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

Miami Beach Police Department officers pile on top of someone to arrest them as they enforce the South beach 8pm curfew during spring break, in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

A large crowd of people participate in a party on a street, during spring break in Miami Beach, Florida on Saturday

Other videos showed massive, dense groups of people not wearing masks while partying on the streets after the curfew began

Other videos showed massive, dense groups of people not wearing masks while partying on the streets after the curfew began

Other videos showed massive, dense groups of people not wearing masks while partying on the streets after the curfew began

Crowds were seen stampeding away from the scene screaming, while people online reported that cops fired pepper balls into the crowd

Crowds were seen stampeding away from the scene screaming, while people online reported that cops fired pepper balls into the crowd

Crowds were seen stampeding away from the scene screaming, while people online reported that cops fired pepper balls into the crowd

Police move in to disperse massive crowds of spring breakers in Miami Beach on Saturday during a crackdown on curfew violators

Police move in to disperse massive crowds of spring breakers in Miami Beach on Saturday during a crackdown on curfew violators

Police move in to disperse massive crowds of spring breakers in Miami Beach on Saturday during a crackdown on curfew violators

A police line and ATVs are seen as cops work to disperse large crowds in Miami Beach on Saturday amid a curfew order

A police line and ATVs are seen as cops work to disperse large crowds in Miami Beach on Saturday amid a curfew order

A police line and ATVs are seen as cops work to disperse large crowds in Miami Beach on Saturday amid a curfew order

A SWAT vehicle was filmed moving down Ocean Drive - a popular party street - and using an LRAD, also known as a sound cannon, to get people to disperse

A SWAT vehicle was filmed moving down Ocean Drive - a popular party street - and using an LRAD, also known as a sound cannon, to get people to disperse

A SWAT vehicle was filmed moving down Ocean Drive – a popular party street – and using an LRAD, also known as a sound cannon, to get people to disperse

Later in the night, Ocean Drive was seen nearly empty as cops closed down streets and made spring breakers disperse

Later in the night, Ocean Drive was seen nearly empty as cops closed down streets and made spring breakers disperse

Later in the night, Ocean Drive was seen nearly empty as cops closed down streets and made spring breakers disperse 

Miami police posted photos showing an aerial view of Ocean Drive after crowds were cleared out amid a new curfew to control unruly crowds

Miami police posted photos showing an aerial view of Ocean Drive after crowds were cleared out amid a new curfew to control unruly crowds

Miami police posted photos showing an aerial view of Ocean Drive after crowds were cleared out amid a new curfew to control unruly crowds

Franco said in a live video that the crowd breaking appears to be a multi-agency effort, with helicopters from Miami-Dade police, a SWAT vehicle from Coral Gables and officers from other agencies. 

In another video posted Twitter, a man wearing Joker makeup waves an American flag while standing on top of a car screaming ‘COVID is over baby’ and throwing money into the air.

Later in the night, Ocean Drive was seen nearly empty after cops made everyone disperse and photos posted by Miami Beach police show street sweepers cleaning leftover debris.

Locals laughed off the security measures put into place on Saturday, Daily Beast reported. 

‘Honestly, closing down Miami Beach means nothing. People are just going to flock to Brickle and Wynwood. People just need to go,’ a 32-year-old Miami resident told the outlet.

For the next 72 hours, visitors will have to leave streets and restaurants will close their doors at 8pm in the main tourist areas of South Beach, the epicenter of the city’s party scene, authorities announced.

Their doors cannot open again until 6am each morning, authorities said. 

The three bridges that connect the island with mainland Miami will be closed to traffic from 10pm. Only residents, workers and hotel guests will have access.

It’s unclear how long the curfew will remain in effect, but Interim City Manager Raul Aguila told the Miami Herald that he recommends keeping the rules in place through at least April 12. 

A countywide midnight curfew was already in place due to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

‘This is all about the public safety folks,’ said acting City Manager Raul Aguila.

City of Miami Beach Police officers are ready to enforce strict rules part of the zero tolerance campaign

City of Miami Beach Police officers are ready to enforce strict rules part of the zero tolerance campaign

City of Miami Beach Police officers are ready to enforce strict rules part of the zero tolerance campaign

City of Miami Beach Police officers arrest several males on Ocean Drive and 10th Street on Saturday

City of Miami Beach Police officers arrest several males on Ocean Drive and 10th Street on Saturday

City of Miami Beach Police officers arrest several males on Ocean Drive and 10th Street on Saturday

People watch as City of Miami Beach Police officers arrest several males on Ocean Drive and 10th Street as spring break has officially begun on Saturday

People watch as City of Miami Beach Police officers arrest several males on Ocean Drive and 10th Street as spring break has officially begun on Saturday

People watch as City of Miami Beach Police officers arrest several males on Ocean Drive and 10th Street as spring break has officially begun on Saturday

Referring to photos of huge crowds gathering on the main Ocean Drive strip, he added: ‘It looked like a rock concert. You couldn’t see pavement and you couldn’t see grass.’

‘These crowds are in the thousands,’ Aguila said. ‘We´re at capacity.’ 

Over the last several days viral videos have emerged showing fights in restaurants which caused serious damage in addition to prompting diners to flee without paying expensive bills, according to local press reports.

On Thursday, a fight that started at a restaurant on Ocean Drive ended with multiple arrests after police fired pepper balls into the crowd, Daily Beast reported. 

On Thursday night ‘we had an issue where hundreds of people ran at one particular time. Tables and chairs were thrown and used as weapons,’ said Clements, the police chief.

He added that police had hoped it was a one-time event but ‘last night we had three of those situations and we had a young lady that got hurt as a result of trying to run away from a crowd.’

‘We can’t continue to be fortunate. We have to do some things that are going to mitigate those circumstances,’ he said.

The curfew comes as a prominent bar, the Clevelander South Beach, announced it was temporarily suspending all food and beverage operations until at least next Wednesday after crowds crammed Ocean Drive, breaking out into street fights. 

link

(Visited 106 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply