By Janine Puhak, ,
Published March 15, 2018
Just when you thought spring break couldn’t get any weirder, this happened.
College students from across the country gathered this week in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., to take swigs out of a half-naked female mannequin filled with liquor, with a spigot coming out of its crotch.
“'Grab the t**s! Grab the t**s!' people were yelling,” photographer Jorge Rodriguez told Fox News. Rodriguez, who was on the Las Olas beach all day snapping pics, said the bizarre behavior escalated as the day went on, including “lots of vodka drinking out of Gatorade bottles,” twerking, public makeout sessions, and butt grabbing among the students on the sunny, but somewhat chilly 74-degree day.
Rodriguez said law enforcement officials working with police dogs and horses did their best to monitor the scene, making “five or six” arrests during his time there. And they were just getting started.
An estimated 4 million college students invade Florida’s perennial spring break hotspot cities, including Miami Beach, Daytona, Orlando, Panama City Beach and Fort Lauderdale. And while most escape with just a few hangovers to show for their troubles, others are not so lucky.
Ball State University junior Drew Akers was put into a medically induced coma after being injured in a hit and run accident earlier this week in Fort Lauderdale. Troubling video footage has made headlines for a Miami Beach cop punching a man on the ground during his arrest while a nightclub lost its license to operate after abusing a horse during a party stunt.
Though Fort Lauderdale has enacted new measures like banning coolers, tents, tables, noisy speakers and inflatable devices from the beaches through spring break season, in addition to limiting parking, traffic routes and alcohol on the shores, it’s evident from the photos that the collegians are by no means slowing down their shenanigans.
In fellow spring break hotspot Panama City Beach, Metro reports that over 220 spring breakers had been arrested as of March 13. Nevertheless, Panama City Beach Mayor Mike Thomas told Fox News that his town's strict rules have seriously curtailed illegal behavior in recent years.
“We changed the hours of drinking back two hours earlier, bars must close at two, no drinking on the beach in March, no parking overnight on the rightaways, those are just some of them,” Thomas said. “I know that the arrests are down, and that we are having a very nice spring break.”
Thomas said past city administrations “let [the excessive partying] go on too long.” The mayor said rowdy students “come here fully trained – if they’re a problem at home, they come down here in great numbers and create greater problems.”
But Thomas said that in Panama City at least, they’re no longer looking the other way at rabble rousers.
“If you chose to act up, and chose not to follow our rules, you’re going to jail.”
“It just won’t be tolerated. If that’s what kids want, they definitely shouldn’t be coming here," Greater Fort Lauderdale Chamber of Commerce President Dan Lindblade similarly told the Sun Sentinel. "The spring break days of the past aren’t that way anymore.”
Shannon, a merrymaker from the University of Tampa, kind of agreed, telling Rodriguez that though she’s having a good time, “there is not enough loud music, and a lot of cops.”
But it turns out some of those cops are also contributing to the merriment. Ernesto Rodriguez, a spokesperson for the Miami Beach Police Department, believes that if you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.
“This year, we refurbished an old lifeguard stand, where we have a sergeant and detective stationed on the weekend to DJ, engage with our community and visitors and remind them of the do’s and don’ts of having a good time,” he told Fox News.
Looks like you truly can't stop the party, after all.