Miami Beach's spring break crackdown brought calm, visitors say

More police officers were dispatched to handle violent incidents

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – As the crowd control barriers came down along Ocean Drive Monday afternoon, visitors said the large police presence brought in to handle another busy spring break weekend had a definite impact.

"It was a lot of barricades, a lot of police, but it was actually safe," said Justin Tufano, a tourist.

Police flooded the streets with nearly 400 officers on duty after a string of violent incidents in previous weeks. 

"It's kind of crazy. It's a lot of people. It's flooded. The streets were closed down, but now I think it's lessening up," said Baseemah Robinson.

Although calmer than previous weekends, police still handled a number of incidents.

Over the weekend, 40-year-old Garrett Flores faced a judge— accused of intentionally hitting Miami Beach Sgt. Philip Elmore with his motorcycle Friday. Police said Flores refused to stop several times while driving against traffic on Collins Avenue, then tried to take off running. Elmore went to the hospital in pain, but he is expected to make a full recovery.

On Saturday night, police arrested a man for walking naked at Collins Avenue and 9th Street. A few hours earlier, police said someone stabbed a man near 15th Street and Collins Avenue. Then at Meridian Avenue and 5th Street witnesses said a man fell from a third-floor window before crews rushed him to the hospital. Police are investigating the string of incidents and visitors said their presence has made a difference. 

"It's just so much more peaceful. We can walk on the boardwalk. We can do stuff. There's not a bunch of angry kids running around doing handstand shots," visitor Darlene Anderson said.

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