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.
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.
“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.