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No social distancing here: Crowds pack Daytona Beach

See the video from county’s sheriff department, someone tosses money from car into crowd

Video: Large crowds take over Daytona Beach
Video: Large crowds take over Daytona Beach

Hundreds of people gathered at a popular Daytona Beach boardwalk during Memorial Day weekend and were seen partying and dancing despite social distancing restrictions imposed by the state, authorities said Sunday.

Police responded, attempting to disperse the crowds along A1A in Daytona Beach that were there for an annual gathering not authorized by the local government this year.

The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office released helicopter images showing the large crowds surrounding a car outside a beachfront mall as a man stood on the sunroof and other men hung out the windows throwing money around and blocking traffic. (See video below: 1:08). “Looks like that white car, there’s two people out the sunroof throwing money; they are clearly throwing cash at the crowd,” said a deputy.

City officials received numerous phone calls and messages worried for their safety as large crowds began to form on A1A, according to Orlando TV station Local 6.

Police said a shooting also was reported outside a nearby convenience store, with two people taken to the hospital with gunshot wounds and four injured by shrapnel. Officers were not involved.

Officials said they were criticized for not making use of force against the crowds and declining to make arrests for social distancing violations. Coronavirus social distancing rules in the Florida state that people must be in groups of 10 or fewer.

In South Florida, Broward County and Miami-Dade County waited until after Memorial Day to open their beaches.

Local 10′s Michelle Solomon contributed to this report.