Miami Beach

Spring break on Miami Beach much calmer on Saturday

Miami Beach returned to its regularly scheduled spring break programming Saturday afternoon following a scuffle Friday night that led to some arrests.
Miami Beach returned to its regularly scheduled spring break programming Saturday afternoon following a scuffle Friday night that led to some arrests. cherrera@miamiherald.com

Miami Beach returned to its regularly scheduled spring break programming Saturday afternoon following a scuffle Friday night that led to some arrests.

Roads were open again — although traffic was nowhere near dissipating — after police shut down Ocean Drive between Seventh and 10th streets for more than an hour Friday evening when large crowds from the beach spilled onto the road, creating unsafe conditions, police said.

By Saturday afternoon, police vehicles were lined up and down the beach across Ocean Drive, monitoring beachgoers as they entered.

I come with the expectation that it’s going to be crazy.

Darbel Gonzalez, FAU freshman

At one entrance near Fifth Street, a group of Goodwill Ambassadors, Miami-Dade employees who help keep the peace during busy events, also kept an eye on crowds going to the beach.

Goodwill Ambassador Jose Delrisco said everything was calm so far, and even less crowded for spring break than years past. Still, he added, crowds get rowdier as the day — and the month — progresses.

“We still have two weeks to go; it gets busier as it goes out,” Delrisco said. “At night is when it gets crazier.”

And despite the large crowd, only several scattered bottles could be seen in the sand.

Delrisco said Miami Beach personnel were out cleaning the beach at 5 a.m. and continued to collect litter throughout the day.

“You really don’t see a whole lot of trash for the volume of people,” he said.

On Friday evening, Miami Beach police, who beef up staff for packed weekends, were overwhelmed by the oversized crowds leaving the beach who didn’t heed their warnings to get off the road. The disturbance led to a few arrests, but no serious injuries.

On the beach, Florida Atlantic University and Florida International University spring breakers hung out by a black tarp with music blaring.

FAU nursing major Darbel Gonzalez said the day had been calm, but he didn’t expect it to stay that way.

“I come with the expectation that it’s going to be crazy,” Gonzalez, 19, said. “We’re going to be here all day until the sun goes down.”

Saturday night remained quiet with no major disturbances.

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