MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Hundreds of police were hard at work keeping the peace in South Beach, and on Sunday, that included kicking at least 100 dirt bike riders out of the city.
7News cameras captured large crowds along Ocean Drive, Sunday night.
“This is awesome. I love being here,” said Kirsten Simpson, who is visiting from Ohio.
City leaders said safety remains their top priority, and that’s why a heavier police presence will remain in place until Monday evening, with at least 400 more officers patrolling on foot and on wheels.
Speaking of wheels, Miami Beach Police officers chased out at least 100 dirt bike riders who were causing chaos. Traffic cameras showed the riders heading westbound on the MacArthur Causeway.
Police said they also arrested one man who had a gun.
“We now learned that this man has an extensive criminal past. He is a dangerous man who was once arrested for murder,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
Tourists said they’re happy the extra security is really paying off.
“I feel like, if anything were to happen, or if I would need any reason to have law enforcement around, they’re readily available,” said Jimmy Bushee, who is visiting from Indiana.
City officials advised drivers to expect delays getting into the Beach, as well as several road closures. Ocean Drive will remain closed to vehicular traffic until Tuesday morning, and eastbound traffic on the MacArthur Causeway will be reduced to just one lane.
Drivers will only be able to go north on Collins Avenue from Fifth to 16th streets and south on Washington Avenue between those streets.
Visitors enjoying time off told 7News said there’s no better place to experience the holiday weekend’s sights and sounds than doing it safely in Miami Beach.
“If you’re in Miami, you’re also celebrating the fact that you made it here with enough money to be able to enjoy these festivities,” said Marc Bowen, who is visiting from Indiana.
Police said they saw a spike in arrests Saturday night. The main offenses were narcotics-related.
For more information about events, road closures and Memorial Day weekend dos and don’ts, click here.
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