MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – It was a wild Friday night in South Beach. There were even women who jumped on a police car to twerk. The city is swarming with spring breakers.
Miami Beach Officer Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesman for the department, said two officers were injured while dealing with a very large crowd near Eighth Street and Ocean Drive.
“While taking a subject into custody, officers were forced to utilize pepper balls to disperse members of the crowd who were disorderly and surrounding officers,” Rodriguez said. “Several subjects have been detained. Two officers were injured and have been transported to the hospital.”
More police officers are enforcing the rules in the area of Ocean Drive, and Collins, and Washington avenues from Fifth to 16th streets, including Española Way. All package liquor sales ceased after 8 p.m. in this area and after 10 p.m. in the rest of the city.
On Thursday night, officers said some people in the crowd threw bottles at them on Collins Avenue and 11th Street. Rodriguez said officers arrested three people during the mayhem.
Before the incident on Friday, Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said the risks of the coronavirus pandemic and a rise in crime by tourists have forced the city to implement strict measures.
“Right now, we have to have an expectation of conduct from the people who are visiting,” Gelber said. “If you can’t meet that expectation, go somewhere else.”
The city’s marketing campaign is reminding tourists that drinking alcohol and smoking marijuana in public are arrestable offenses. Driving scooters in and out of vehicular traffic or on sidewalks is illegal.
On the beach, inflatable devices and tents, tables, and similar structures are prohibited. Loud music, coolers, glass containers, and styrofoam and plastic straws are also banned from the beach.
In the water, the Miami Beach marine patrol unit and the U.S. Coast Guard are searching for illegal charters and enforcing local, state, and federal laws.
Officers are asking the public to wear face masks and to practice social distancing to avoid coronavirus infections. The city is enforcing the Miami-Dade County-wide curfew from 12 a.m. to 6 a.m.
“The virus is still here. The variant is still here and growing and more people are coming, so we can’t stop,” Gelber said. “We can’t let down our guard. We have got to continue to be careful and we have to continue to respect the danger of this virus.”
Gov. Ron DeSantis issued an order invalidating the local government’s fines on pandemic-related rules. Broward County Mayor Steven Geller said this would force local governments to resort to closing down businesses that violate capacity limits.
“We like the fact that people are able to work here. We like the fact that we have been able to save thousands and thousands of businesses and save people’s livelihoods,” DeSantis said, adding that contemplating “a shutdown” at this point is insane.
The spring breaker’s season is over on April 12th.
MBPD dealing with very large crowds this evening near 8 Street and Ocean Drive. While taking a subject into custody, Officers were forced to utilize pepper balls to disperse members of the crowd who were disorderly and surrounding officers.— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) March 13, 2021
Several subjects have been detained. Two officers were injured and have been transported to the hospital.— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) March 13, 2021