Recent assault on Ocean Drive adds to list of reasons why some want alcohol ban
Others say 2 a.m. booze ban will be detrimental to businesses
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A brutal assault on Ocean Drive that was caught on video over the weekend has added to the reasons some say it's time for change on Miami Beach.
In just a few short weeks, voters will get their chance for change, but will scaling back booze sales really help?
Cellphone cameras captured a woman on Ocean Drive taunting and screaming at a man over the weekend.
The man eventually got physical.
While it's unclear whether police responded, it's just another example of why things need to change on Ocean Drive, according to hotel owner Mitch Novick.
"It's at a crisis level," Novick said. "Not a day goes by when I don't hear about a stabbing, an armed robbery involving guns, tourists being preyed on, residents being preyed on."
Novick is pushing hard for a ballot measure that would require Ocean Drive businesses to stop alcohol sales at 2 a.m. instead of 5 a.m.
"I believe that we're at a moment in time that the voters of this city can vote to make some real change," Novick said.
Novick, who spends a lot of his time finding examples of crime in the area, said the rollback will send a message, as the area has seen a concentration of violent crime.
"Ocean Drive is famous, and if you're on Ocean Drive, saying we're shutting down at 2 a.m., you're sending a message that Miami Beach is shutting down, and that has a huge financial detriment to it," Mike Palma said.
Palma is the senior vice president for the Clevelander South Beach Hotel and Bar on Ocean Drive. He said the move is a knee-jerk reaction, not a solution.
"No one is denying that there's no need for improvement -- we need to improve the street," he said.
Palma said police and code enforcement need to step it up.
"I think to say everyone is being overserved is a total lie and it's not true," Palma said.
Novick, meanwhile, is hoping that voters side with him.
"This is my home," Novick said. "I intend to stay here and I intend to change it."
Voters will decide the issue Nov. 7.
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