Ocean Drive melee prompts Miami Beach officers to fire pepper balls at crowd

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A street melee on Ocean Drive, between Seventh and Eighth streets, prompted police officers to fire pepper balls to disperse a crowd on Thursday night in South Beach.

Officers detained at least three people. Miami Beach Fire Rescue personnel responded to help the few who were injured. Workers at nearby restaurants cleaned up the mess left behind from the chaos.

Spring breakers forced the Miami Beach Police Department to get help from other law enforcement agencies, including the Miami-Dade and Coral Gables police departments. Miami-Dade Corrections officers will help with on-site booking and transportation to Turner Guilford Knight Correctional Center.

Most of the arrests officers have made since Feb. 3 have been on the busy area of Ocean Drive, and Collins and Washington avenues, between Fifth and 16th streets.

A shooting on Monday on Collins Avenue and Sixth Street left Sowe Amadu, 27, a Miami Beach resident, dead. Officers found him on the 2400 block of Pine Tree Drive about 20 minutes after the shooting.

Also on Monday, Gene Robert Duplessy said spring breakers were dancing on top of his taxi. One of the dancers stomped on the 61-year-old driver’s arm. They destroyed his cab.

Spring break season ends on April 12th.

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About the Authors:

Janine Stanwood joined Local 10 News in February 2004 as an assignment editor. She is now a general assignment reporter. Before moving to South Florida from her Washington home, Janine was the senior legislative correspondent for a United States senator on Capitol Hill.

The Emmy Award-winning journalist joined the Local 10 News team in 2013. She wrote for the Miami Herald for more than 9 years and won a Green Eyeshade Award.