As Deadly Spring Break Crime Wave Hits Miami Beach, Mayor Denounces ‘Unruly’ Visitors

Miami Beach sets a strict curfew and the mayor announced that the city has impounded more than 70 firearms in the last three weeks.

D.A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP
Crowds gather during spring break on Saturday at Miami Beach. D.A. Varela/Miami Herald via AP

Miami Beach is under a strict curfew after violent spring breakers were involved in two fatal shootings on Saturday night.  This comes as the embarrassed mayor of the tourist mecca is denouncing the rowdy out of town visitors who’ve left the city scrambling to maintain law and order.

“We haven’t asked for spring break in our city. We don’t want spring break in our city. It’s too rowdy, brings too much disorder, and is simply too difficult to police,” Mayor Dan Gelber said in a video message.

On Sunday, the city of Miami Beach announced a strict curfew between 11:59 p.m. on Sunday to 6 a.m. on Monday for the South Beach neighborhood — an area that draws thousands of college visitors every year. Mayor Gelber said in his video message that the fatal shootings and the sheer size of “unruly” crowds forced him to make this decision. 

“Both shootings were between visitors to Miami Beach and did not involve residents,” he said. “That said, it is clear that even an unprecedented police presence could not prevent these incidents from occurring. While our daytime programming has helped with crowd control … the volume of people in our city, the unruly nature of too many, and the presence of guns, has created a peril that cannot go unchecked, especially in the evenings.” 

He also announced that the city has impounded more than 70 firearms in the last three weeks.

Dontavious Polk, 24, is accused of first-degree murder after an execution-style killing at Miami Beach over the weekend. Miami Beach Police Department

Dontavious Polk, 24, of Fort Lauderdale was arrested on Sunday evening for one of the shootings and is being held on first-degree murder charges. Police have fingered him in an execution-style killing of a man who was shot multiple times at close range.

Mr. Gelber said the city commission will meet in the coming days to discuss whether to impose the same curfew restrictions for the entirety of the coming weekend. “People in the impacted areas should not be out after midnight when the curfew is in place. Businesses in the curfew area should close sufficiently in advance of midnight,” he said.

Mr. Gelber also said the constant strain spring break puts on the city’s police force is a concern. 

According to data from Miami-Dade County, the number of some violent offenses has increased since last year. Since the beginning of 2023, the county has seen the number of murders increase to 13 from 9 at this point in 2022. The number of aggravated assaults has increased to 938 from 875 at this time last year. 

“The Miami Beach brand has been damaged beyond recognition for the last decade,” a Miami Beach resident, Mitch Novick, told Fox News.

The New York Sun

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