Spring breakers bring large crowds to South Florida beaches

No major disturbances reported, police say

FORT LAUDERDLE, Fla. – South Florida's beaches were tame Monday morning, but the first wave of spring breakers arrived in Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale over the weekend, bringing in big crowds.

Police have stepped up their presence in those areas, as restaurant and bar owners enjoy the extra customers.

"They have (police) where it's needed, they have people patrolling the streets back and forth, especially because it's such a big tourist area. They have a lot of things to look out for, so to speak," one Miami Beach spring breaker, Susan Moody, said.

Tourists told Local 10 News reporter Sanela Sabovic that A1A and Las Olas Boulevard was crowded with not only vehicular traffic, but foot traffic.

Fort Lauderdale police said they have seen a surge in crowds, but said they are not aware of any particular incidents that were out of control or out of the norm over the weekend.

Some fights were reported, but police said they aren't aware of any large disturbances. A total of 15 people have been arrested in the area since March 1.

Miami Beach police told Local 10 News reporter Terrell Forney that they made one to two arrests each day over the weekend, but also did not experience any major disturbances. Police said there have been only four arrests in Miami Beach since Friday related to spring breakers, and 30 since March 3.

Although no major incidents were reported, one spring breaker posted a video on Twitter Sunday that has gone viral, showing a woman twerking on a Miami Beach police officer's all-terrain vehicle.

The video shows the woman twerking on the ATV as the officer tries to back out of a large crowd on the sand. One beach-goer slaps the woman's rear-end before the officer pushes her off the ATV.

"The beach-goer made a poor choice when she mounted one of our vehicles as the officer was retreating from a large crowd," Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez said in a statement. "We strongly urge people visiting our beaches to have a good time not only safely, but also responsibly."

Visitors who are in town for purposes other than spring break feel like they came down during the wrong time period.

"We came down and traffic was just really slow (and) streets (were) packed," Rochell Kemp, of Virginia, said.

"I think there's a lot of partying on the beach, not really knowing what's going on (and) a lot of lifeguards yelling at us. It's not too bad though. It’s worth it," one spring breaker, Ashley Redike, of Indiana, said.  

Fort Lauderdale officials are warning beach-goers to heed the rules. They have signs posted all over the beach, letting spring breakers and visitors know that no glass bottles, glass containers or loud music is allowed on the beach.

The same rules apply for Miami Beach.

About the Authors:

Sanela Sabovic joined Local 10 News in September 2012 as an assignment editor and associate producer. In August 2015, she became a full-time reporter and fill-in traffic reporter. Sanela holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications with a concentration in radio, television and film from DePaul University.

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.