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Miami Beach police say ‘It’s really been a dangerous week’

South Florida visitor charged with inciting riot during spring break ruckus

Man facing charges after police say he incited 'riot' on Miami Beach
Man facing charges after police say he incited 'riot' on Miami Beach

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – A 29-year-old man was in court Tuesday after authorities say he was in part to blame for a chaotic scene in Miami Beach on Sunday night.

Jovan Washingon, of Indiana, faces charges of inciting a riot, disorderly conduct and defying the 8 p.m. curfew that was put in place to reduce the crowds.

Police say he was enticing a crowd of people with music from a large Bluetooth speaker.

An arrest report says “the subjects he was enticing were observed vandalizing vehicles by jumping on them, causing the roofs of the vehicles to cave in, the windshields to shatter, causing subjects to make obscene gestures towards officers and taunt officers.”

“My speaker wasn’t even that loud,” Washington told a judge during his first court appearance. He posted a $2,500 bond.

Sunday night, a crowd pushed into a residential neighborhood where more chaos played out in the streets. As many as 500 people were involved, police say.

Officers waited until things calmed to nab Washington.

Authorities also say that at least five city of Miami Beach police officers have been injured dealing with the recent spring break ruckus.

“It’s been nuts. People are going wild right now,” said Chris Nelson, who is visiting from Orlando. “We’ve seen some people like jumping on like light poles and all types of crazy stuff.”

The damage to cars was visible Monday morning, with a champagne bottle still sitting atop one of them. Another car had its windshield shattered.

The scenes on South Beach have made national headlines.

“It’s really been a dangerous week,” Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez said. “We’ve seen a lot of fights, we’ve seen a lot of viral social media videos that are disturbing, and as a police department we don’t deny that.”

With the 8 p.m. curfew temporarily lifted Monday night amid lighter crowds, there were still signs of drama along Ocean Drive — and more arrests.

The city’s 8 p.m. curfew is set to back into effect Thursday night and will remain intact over the next three weekends.

About the Author:

Terrell Forney joined Local 10 News in October 2005 as a general assignment reporter. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Ohio, but a desire to escape the harsh winters of the north brought him to South Florida.