Things are definitely getting out of hand in South Beach. The popular spring break resort area of Miami Beach was under a state of emergency as massive crowds flooded the streets. As part of the state of emergency set forth by Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber, the area was under an 8:00 p.m. curfew.
However, revelers did not pay heed to the curfew, choosing to continue partying well into the night. As a result, SWAT teams were called to the scene to break up the crowd.
Businesses Fed Up
Although they are clearly hurting for business amidst the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting economic downturn, even some businesses were fed up with the spring breakers. The legendary Clevelander restaurant and bar announced that it will shut its doors until March 24 at the earliest because of the increased levels of violence brought on by the crowds.An attorney representing the restaurant said that they do not feel comfortable asking their employees to report to work during these conditions.
Pepper Balls Used to Disperse Crowds
Earlier in the weekend, police officers were forced to fire pepper balls into a crowd of unruly visitors in South Beach. The melee happened on the famed Ocean Drive between Eighth and Ninth streets. At least three people were detained as a result of the incident.
Reports of violence and increasing amounts of unrest have flooded social media throughout the weekend as the crowds continue to grow. According to Gelber, there has been an uptick in visitors looking to visit Florida because of its lax COVID-19 restrictions. Officials are growing worried that the influx of visitors will lead to more COVID-19 superspreader events.