Police in Fort Lauderdale report surge of spring breakers amid Miami Beach crackdown


Police in Fort Lauderdale have made more than double the number of spring break-related arrests this March as they did last year.

From March 1-25, there were 18 arrests in the city, compared to eight all of last year, according to police, which coincided with an influx of people who migrated up the Florida coast after Miami Beach’s “breakup” and settled in Fort Lauderdale to party.

“This year, we are experiencing larger crowds than in years past, and as a result, we have had isolated incidents, such as disturbances and fights,” Casey Liening, spokesperson for Fort Lauderdale police, told Fox News Digital in an email.

“Our officers have immediately responded to and dispersed the crowds involved in these incidents without issue.”

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Local police officers patrol as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale

Local police officers patrol as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

Two weekends ago, which coincided with St. Patrick’s Day festivities, was the busiest weekend of the season. That’s typical.

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This past weekend, historically a close second in terms of the number of visitors to South Beach and Florida’s coastal cities and criminal activity, was nearly washed out.

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For more than 48 hours this weekend, torrential rain and persistent winds pelted the coast, and the National Weather Service issued multiple flood warnings and a tornado watch for the area.

The weather emptied the beaches Friday and Saturday and pushed visitors and locals inside the bars and restaurants where college hoops aired on the TVs.

The overcast weather cleared out by Sunday, and gave way to sunny skies and high 70-degree temperatures, which allowed spring breakers to enjoy a last-minute, truncated beach bash before leaving.

Spring breakers walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach

Spring breakers walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

Spring breakers enjoy the sun and sand on Fort Lauderdale Beach

Spring breakers enjoy the sun and sand on Fort Lauderdale Beach on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

A pair of spring breakers sunbathe on Fort Lauderdale Beach

A pair of spring breakers sunbathe on Fort Lauderdale Beach on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

Of the 18 spring-break related arrests so far this month, only three suspects were considered “spring breakers” by Fort Lauderdale police’s definition.

Here’s the full breakdown, with the suspect in parentheses:

3/4 – 1 notice to appear for disorderly conduct (spring breaker)

3/5 – 1 arrest for disorderly conduct (spring breaker)

3/7 – 4 arrested for drug-related offenses (locals)

3/8 – 2 arrested for cellphone thefts downtown (from Miami)

3/9 – 1 arrested for cellphone thefts downtown (not a spring breaker)

3/12 – 1 arrested for 4 counts of battery on law enforcement officer (local)

3/16 – 2 arrested for disturbance and trespassing (locals)

3/17 – 1 arrested by FLPD Motor Unit for drug-related offense (local)

3/18 – 1 arrested by FLPD Motor Unit for traffic-related offense (local)

3/19 – 1 notice to appear for trespassing (local)

3/20 – 1 arrest by FLPD Motor Unit for traffic-related offense (local)

A local police officer patrols the local bar area as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale

A local police officer patrols the local bar area as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

Local police officers patrol as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Local police officers patrol as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

A pair of spring breakers snap a selfie while enjoying a bar along Fort Lauderdale Beach

A pair of spring breakers snap a selfie while enjoying a bar on Fort Lauderdale Beach on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

This past weekend’s tame scene continued a trend of calm soirèes in most of Florida’s spring break hot spots.

There have been isolated incidents of violence along the 350 miles of coast from Jacksonville down to South Beach.

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Most notably, that violence included multiple shootings on St. Patrick’s Day in Jacksonville’s downtown business district that claimed one life and injured three others.

A couple of days earlier, the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office chased a brazen gunman through a crowd in New Smyrna Beach, a coastal city about 15 miles south of Daytona Beach, earlier this month.

spring break

A teenager points a gun at spring breakers on a crowded beach in New Smyrna Beach, Florida.

Local police officers patrol as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida

Local police officers patrol as spring breakers enjoy the beach in Fort Lauderdale, Florida on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

A local police tent is seen on Fort Lauderdale Beach

A local police tent is seen on Fort Lauderdale Beach on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

By the end of St. Patrick’s Day weekend, law enforcement in Miami Beach, which is usually the epicenter of spring break-related crime, made 250 arrests.

Mayor Steven Meiner told Fox News Digital that’s a “reasonable number (of arrests) considering how many law enforcement officers are here.”

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It’s been “the calmest spring break in years,” he said.

And more importantly, the crimes didn’t escalate to the level they did last year, which included stampedes and two homicides.

A group of spring breakers pose for a photo while enjoying Fort Lauderdale Beach

A group of spring breakers pose for a photo while enjoying Fort Lauderdale Beach on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

Spring breakers enjoy the sun and sand on Fort Lauderdale Beach

Spring breakers enjoy the sun and sand on Fort Lauderdale Beach on Sunday, March 24, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

Spring breakers walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach

Spring breakers walk along Fort Lauderdale Beach on Saturday, March 23, 2024. The city saw an influx of college students after Miami Beach announced they were “breaking up with” spring break after last year’s season brought deadly chaos to the area.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said during an early March press conference that he was sending over 140 state troopers throughout the state, along with state resources, like license-plate readers and drones, even before vacationers hit the beaches.

“This is really unprecedented,” DeSantis said during a March 5 press conference. “I don’t think we’ve ever seen the state come in this forward-leaning going into a season like this.

“With all things considered, I think that we’re good and prepared as we’ve ever been throughout my time in the state of Florida,” he said.

With March nearly in the rearview mirror, and the beach bash winding down, the state’s actions appear to have reversed a history of spring break chaos, especially in South Beach.

Original article source: Police in Fort Lauderdale report surge of spring breakers amid Miami Beach crackdown



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