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Miami Beach wild spring break nights follow calm days

‘At night there seems to be a switch that goes on,’ police chief says

Authorities are on alert and businesses aren't happy as rowdy crowds on South Beach have caused chaos and curfews on weekend nights.
Authorities are on alert and businesses aren't happy as rowdy crowds on South Beach have caused chaos and curfews on weekend nights.

MIAMI BEACH, Fla. – It truly is a case of night and day on Miami Beach this spring break.

A calm from the recent storm could be seen Tuesday morning on South Beach, a stark contrast to the wild weekend that made national headlines.

“Most of the people that are out here during the day are really enjoying Miami Beach for what it’s known for,” said Rick Clements, the city’s police chief. “And at night there seems to be a switch that goes on, which encourages people to do things that I don’t think that they would normally do.”

Police moved in on a crowd on Ocean Drive on Monday night, which had people running and one person detained.

Two blocks away, a swarm of partiers gathered at the now-shuttered News Cafe.

The scene was still calmer than the night before.

In six weeks, police have issued more than 11,000 traffic citations and made more than a thousand arrests on Miami Beach — nearly 400 of which were felonies.

The chaos and ensuing curfews have caused another headache for business owners who are just trying to rebound after losing money from previous COVID-19 restrictions.

“The city of Miami Beach is supposed to be patrolling the streets, whether it’s for security or for COVID reasons. Now, they’re making us as a business shut down at 7 or 8, and that affects our bottom line. That takes money out of people’s pockets,” Ray Schnitzer, owner of the iconic 11th Street Diner, told Local 10 News.

“Since the start, we control our own security here and there has never been a problem. If there are ever small problems, we diffuse them,” he added. “Now, the City of Miami Beach and Miami Beach Police should do the same thing out there on the street. And they’re not. They’re putting it on the businesses, and that’s not right.”


About the Authors:

Saira Anwer joined the Local 10 News team in July 2018. Saira is two-time Emmy-nominated reporter and comes to South Florida from Madison, Wisconsin, where she was working as a reporter and anchor.

David Selig is the Digital Executive Producer at WPLG, overseeing Local10.com.