An unruly crowd of Spring Breakers shut down a portion of Ocean Drive on Miami Beach for more than an hour Friday evening, the first such incident of the season, resulting in a few arrests but no serious injuries, police said.
The ruckus began around 7 p.m. amid vacationers “partying along Lummus Park,” according to Miami Beach police spokesman Ernesto Rodriguez. “As the sun was setting large crowds then spilled out on Ocean Drive ... creating dangerous conditions not only for the pedestrians themselves but also the vehicles.”
The Miami Beach Police Department tweeted the closing — between 7th and 10th Streets — “due to large crowds.”
A video clip posted on Twitter showed crowds of young people chanting, then police arriving on the scene.
Several officers tried to get the crowds off the road, and back into the oceanfront Lummus Park. But, “they did not listen,” Rodriguez said. Some “small fights” broke out in the crowd and “bottles were thrown.”
Rodriguez said the police had already deployed “enhanced staffing for Spring Break crowds,” but the disturbance and crowd size overwhelmed a dozen or so officers on the scene, including some in All-Terrain Vehicles. Police called in reinforcements from Mid-Beach and North Beach.
“We did effect a few arrests,” Rodriguez said, adding he had no names, exact figures or charges of those in the crowd who were taken into custody “processed and sent to county jail.” Typically he said, the charge would be disorderly conduct.
No one was seriously injured. “I don’t know if there were any minor scrapes.”
As it happened, the police had earlier Friday afternoon posted a picture of Miami Beach’s “large #springbreak crowds” on Twitter along with a warning, before the crowds became unruly.
“Have fun, but be responsible!” the tweet warned.