Spring breakers are once again permitted to party until the break of dawn on South Beach after officials ended a midnight curfew that was implemented after five people were shot.
A temporary ban on alcohol sales after 6 p.m. would also be reversed after the city’s entertainment district returned to peace, party, and calm following Thursday’s emergency measures, officials said.
Miami Beach City Manager Alina Hudak said the city will still limit parking in the area and beef up police presence until Sunday, when the party crowd was expected to return to college.
A pair of shootings on March 20 and 21 sent five people to the hospital as panicked partiers ran for cover, causing property damage and disrupting traffic.
Four police officers were also injured while dispersing revelers away from the area following the second attack.
“We didn’t ask for spring break and we don’t want it,” Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber said at a press conference last Monday.
“We just simply cannot have people come to our city and have to worry about being shot,” the Democrat said. “That’s not a way a city can operate.”
On the other side of the Sunshine State in Panama City Beach, officials confiscated 75 guns from rowdy partiers and arrested 160 people in connection with a shooting and chaotic beach “takeover” that was promoted on social media, as well as the looting of a local Walmart. About half of the suspects were from Alabama, police said.
“What we saw this past weekend is absolutely unacceptable,” Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez said Monday.
“The behavior of these pathetic cowards that came to our beach and committed these crimes, their actions will not be tolerated.”
Most of the suspects were “true criminals” not rowdy students, officials said, adding that some of the suspects “cried” when they were arrested.
Spring breakers had hit beach towns in large numbers across the country following two years of sobering COVID-19 restrictions.
With AP wires