MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Large crowds of revelers driven away from South Beach’s entertainment district due to a new curfew headed several blocks west to throw loud and disruptive street parties in residential neighborhoods.
7News cameras captured a quiet scene along Ocean Drive, Monday night, a sharp contrast with the throngs of people that packed the iconic street during the weekend.
Once police enforced Sunday’s curfew, crowds were pushed into residential neighborhoods & onto Euclid, Jefferson & Meridian Avenues and elsewhere. Families dealt with hundreds of people stomping on cars & making it rain from their vehicles and balconies. @wsvn #SouthBeach pic.twitter.com/IdWDb0oGH1
— Sheldon Fox-7 News (@fox_sheldon) March 22, 2021
Cellphone video captured hundreds of people outside an apartment complex in the area of Euclid Avenue and Eighth Street, Sunday night.
The impromptu soirée took place after police officers cleared Ocean Drive, Collins Avenue and Washington Avenue between Fifth and 16th streets as part of an 8 p.m. curfew that city officials announced on Saturday as a measure to curb overwhelming spring break crowds.
Cara Natkin and Dedra Booker live on Jefferson Avenue, several blocks away from where the chaos unfolded. Both residents said they’re fed up.
“You could not go outside. We’re afraid to go outside,” said Natkin.
Booker said she heard gunshots from inside her home.
“I’m super scared right now,” she said.
Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber addressed the unrest in a video message, Monday.
“There are clearly too many [people] coming here with other ideas, and some are bringing guns,” he said.
Matteo Chialastri, who owns the complex on Euclid and Eighth, said the families who live there were jolted from their sleep overnight.
“It’s a big problem for the residential people living there,” he said.
Cellphone video captured revelers dancing on residents’ cars and making their way into balconies at the complex.
“I have one family that lives on the first floor, and it’s a family of four with two kids. As soon as you open the door, you have a thousand people dancing in front of you,” said Chialastri.
The ruckus started about a half hour after Sunday’s curfew went into effect.
Officials said the curfew will be enforced between Thursday and Sunday. City commissioners have since voted to extend it until at least April 11.
1/4 Night has fallen on Miami Beach, but before the night began, employees at the Icon at the Waldorf Towers Hotel chased two customers who apparently tried to skip out on their bill by going through a nearby alley@wsvn @fox_sheldon #miamibeachspringbreak pic.twitter.com/PZzME6VYix
— Rey Llerena (@LlerenaRey) March 23, 2021
Crowds were lighter Monday night, but not without issues.
Cameras captured restaurant workers chasing after patrons who neglected to pay their bill. Service industry employees said this is a common problem this year.
Officers responded to the restaurant shortly after, and the matter appeared to be settled.
The unruly behavior has garnered national headlines over the past week.
“Action must be taken. Action will be taken,” said Miami Beach Police Officer Ernesto Rodriguez.
Police said they have made over 1,000 arrests between Feb. 3 and Sunday.
“We are going to see the arrest numbers continue to increase. It is not something we are proud of,” said Rodriguez.
As for Booker and Natkin, the end of sping break can’t come soon enough.
“Everything that’s normal to us was not normal,” said Booker.
“It’s like we’re prisoners here in our own home,” said Natkin.
Officers have seized 120 firearms since Feb. 3, police said.
A pandemic curfew extending from midnight until 6 a.m. remains in effect between Monday and Wednesday.
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