Hundreds Arrested for Breaking COVID Protocols as Spring Breakers Flock to Miami Beach

Miami Beach Police Department officers wound up using pepper balls to disperse a disruptive, large crowd and to take a suspect into custody.

miami beach police

Jeffrey Greenberg/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

miami beach police

Hundreds of people have been arrested in Miami Beach over the last few days for violating COVID protocols, according to Mayor Dan Gelber.

The arrests come as vacationers flock to Florida for spring break, with some of those arrested mobbing streets and dancing on police cars.

Following Friday’s unruly behavior and bottle-throwing attack on our police, last night I joined @MiamiBeachPD @RClementsMBPD as he engaged w/ representatives from the @MiamiBeachBiz, the Governor’s regional rep, the Department of Justice, & Miami-Dade’s Goodwill Ambassadors. 1/2

— Commissioner Alex Fernandez (@alexjfernandez) March 14, 2021

The Miami Beach Police Department tweeted Friday that officers used pepper balls to disperse the crowd and to take a suspect into custody. After the arrest, two officers were taken to the hospital for minor injuries. Miami Beach Police Chief Rick Clements told CBS Miami people were “throwing up money into the air,” which only made the crowd grow. 

MBPD dealing with very large crowds this evening near 8 Street and Ocean Drive. While taking a subject into custody, Officers were forced to utilize pepper balls to disperse members of the crowd who were disorderly and surrounding officers.


— Miami Beach Police (@MiamiBeachPD) March 13, 2021

“We’ve got too many people coming, we’ve got too many people acting out and we have COVID at the same time, so it’s a triple threat,” Gelber told CBS Miami. “If you’re coming here to disrupt then it’s not worth the money to us. It’s not worth the revenue. You cannot pay our community to endure the kind of inappropriate and improper conduct that we’ve been seeing… If you’re coming here because you think anything goes, you’re going to have a terrible time. We’re going to arrest you. We’ve made hundreds and hundreds of arrests.”

Florida does not have a statewide mask mandate, but the city of Miami Beach extended its state of emergency declaration through March 17. This includes a midnight curfew. 

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