FLORIDA – It seems as though Spring Break is off to a wild start in the Sunshine State, as fights reportedly broke out over in the Miami Beach area, while Panama City Beach experienced their own brand of craziness.
Video was captured at a Walmart located in Panama City Beach on the evening of March 26th, where the interior had been ransacked and footage showed crowds of individuals running through the store seemingly rejoicing in the chaotic environment.
Local reports noted that a myriad of businesses located within Panama City Beach had closed down early “after a heavy police presence was called to the area for traffic and crowd control.”
Panama City Beach Police Chief J.R. Talamantez stated that by 9:00 p.m. on March 26th, police had to shut down the area stretching from “Front Beach Road from the intersection of Middle Beach Road all the way west to Richard Jackson Blvd.”
The Panama City Beach Police Department released a statement on the evening of March 26th, highlighting that they “expected a large crowd this weekend,” and that they’d allocated “approximately 100 officers” from their department and partnered with other neighboring law enforcement agencies to keep things under control.
Moving down to Miami Beach within Florida, things were seemingly just as lively over the weekend. Video was captured of numerous brawls that had broken out among the crowds of Spring Breakers, although the incidents leading up to these scraps isn’t exactly clear.
However, when these brawls broke out, there was reportedly already a state of emergency put into effect by the city, which according to the official city website, runs from “March 24, 2022 through Monday, March 28, 2022.” The declaration imposed a curfew between midnight and 6:00 a.m. as well as some restrictions on commercial business operations during certain hours and sales of liquor.
Per the announced curfew, it was in “response to the excessively large and unruly spring break crowds, and to mitigate dangerous and illegal conduct.”
Furthermore, reports indicate that the hospitalizing of five bystanders that stemmed from “two random shootings over the weekend” prior to the imposed state of emergency was also factored into setting the curfew and restrictions.
During a press conference on March 21st, Miami Mayor Dan Gelber – who imposed a similar state of emergency for Spring Break in 2021 – proclaimed that Spring Breakers were fostering an “unacceptable” atmosphere within the community.
The mayor was candid in saying that he does not like the city being the de facto Spring Break destination for out of towners, saying that it winds up creating am “impossible situation” for police to deal with effectively.
“We don’t want Spring Break here…but they keep coming. People keep coming here in large numbers, such large numbers that it creates an almost impossible situation for our police.”