MIAMI BEACH, FLA. (WSVN) - Disturbing surveillance video captured spring break bedlam on a South Beach street, as a group of young men ambushed and repeatedly hit a man, hours after Miami Beach Police cancelled a controversial policy of notifying student arrests to their colleges.
External cameras at the Sherbrooke Hotel documented the violent attack on Ninth Street between Collins Avenue and Ocean Drive, shortly after 4 a.m., Thursday.
The victim could be seen taking a beating by the group, who throw and land rapid punches to the man before he drops to the ground. The perpetrators are then seen kicking and stomping him over and over.
Moments later, cellphone video showed the man getting up and chasing after one of his assailants. He then tripped and fell on his face.
Miami Beach Police and Fire Rescue units responded to the scene minutes later.
Officials said police spent an hour dispersing the crowds at the scene. No arrests were made, and despite the medical response, nobody was transported.
The brawl took place hours after 7News broke a story about a controversial police department policy that has since been changed.
Miami Beach Police officers were being instructed to document the colleges of arrested spring breakers so their schools could be notified with a letter from the police department.
Earlier on Thursday, Miami Beach Police Chief Dan Oates explained the department’s about face.
“Some folks in the community felt this was a little too much, so we’re going to stop sending the letters out,” he said.
In December, Miami Beach Police sent out letters to more than 300 schools and Greek life organizations across the country, asking administrators to share with their student body, that visiting students will be arrested if they don’t obey the law.
This spring break, six letters were already sent out, including one notifying the president of St. Louis University that one of their students had been arrested.
The policy did not sit well with South Beach spring breakers.
“What happens on spring break is between me and my friends,” said a student.
“It’s kind of messed up that we’re halfway across the country and our school is still in our business,” said another student.
After 7News’ exclusive report aired Wednesday, the city and the police department announced that their policy was cancelled.
When asked whether sending the letters in this first place, Oates said, “I don’t know. It was certainly well-intentioned, but it didn’t get the reaction that we had hoped for, so we’ve reconsidered it.”
The department’s change in policy comes a day before massive crowds of college students are expected to descend to party, triggering streets closures. Ocean Drive will be closed to vehicular traffic each weekend of spring break beginning Friday at noon until 3 a.m. Monday. Eastbound traffic on the MacArthur and Julie Tuttle causeways will be reduced to two lanes during the overnight hours.
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