Miami Beach officials ]said the city would extend curfews and closures through April 12 after a SWAT team was called in Saturday night while a rowdy spring breakers were defying an 8 p.m. curfew. This event alerted the City Commissioner to vote to extend the curfew during the emergency on Sunday.
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The vote comes after law enforcement officers in bulletproof vests dispersed pepper spray balls Saturday to break up groups that descended on sunny South Beach by the thousands, trashing restaurants and flooding the streets without masks or social distancing
After days of partying, with several confrontations between police and large crowds, Miami Beach officials ordered the emergency curfew from 8 p.m. until 6 a.m. This forced restaurants to stop outdoor seating entirely during the three-day emergency period, and encouraging local businesses to voluntarily shut down.
On Saturday, a military-style vehicle was seen rolling down the palm-tree-lined Ocean Drive on social media as outnumbered Miami Beach police officers struggled to disperse the raucous crowds. Tourists were urged to stay inside their hotels and pedestrians or vehicles were not allowed to enter the restricted area after 8 p.m.
Despite the curfew, the city’s main strip, Ocean Avenue, remained jam-packed with revelers well past the 8 p.m. deadline. A SWAT team was on the strip but left the area around 8:45 p.m.
Miami Beach police enforced the curfew by blockading Ocean Drive, Washington Avenue, and Collins Avenue from to 16th streets.
Eastbound traffic on the city’s three main causeways, the MacArthur, Julia Tuttle, and Venetian, were shut down at 10 p.m. and stayed closed until 5 a.m. to people who were not residents, hotel guests, or people going to work, according to the station.
Miami Beach police said Sunday afternoon they have more than 50 arests and confiscated at least eight fire arms since Friday.