Spring break street closure causes headache for Miami Beach business owner

MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - A South Beach street that has been closed for spring break is proving to be a headache for one Miami Beach business owner.

Ninth Street, between Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive, has been closed to traffic every night ever since a violent car accident was captured on surveillance video.

The video was captured by surveillance cameras outside the Sherbrooke Hotel, where hotel owner Mitch Novick, who was angered about crime in the area, is now angry that the street is closed.

“It’s outrageous,” Novick said. “Crime is endemic throughout this entire city.”

Novick’s attorney, Kent Harrison Robbins, said the crime is a continuing problem. “You can’t really stop crime. The crime is happening everywhere,” he said.

Novick and his lawyer said the closing of the street is a violation of civil rights, bad for business and retaliation on the part of the city for multiple videos posted by Novick exposing criminal spring break behavior in his area.

“In response to his compelling video, I made the decision that for the remainder of spring break, we’re gonna close the block,” said Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates.

Oates said he is simply trying to fix a problem.

Over time, crimes that have been recorded in the area include hit and runs, running from gunfire, fights in the middle of the intersection and groups of spring breakers dancing in the streets.

While Novick feels like Miami Beach Police are censoring him, Oates feels otherwise. “There’s nothing that he’s doing that we’re prohibiting him from doing,” he said. “Someone complains about a problem, and now he complains that we address them.”

Novick also feels that the crime issue still hasn’t been solved.

Oates said they will address the closure of Ninth Street after spring break has ended.

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