Miami Beach spring break arrests top 1,000, officials say

Crowds are congregating in South Florida by thousands

The spring break arrest total in Miami Beach has now surpassed 1,000 following days of unrest, with many people coming from out of state "to engage in lawlessness and an ‘anything goes’ party attitude," officials say. 

The updated figures come as officials also voted to extend curfews and closures at the popular tourist destination through April 12, despite some residents reportedly complaining of having to wait in traffic jams of up to four hours after police closed bridges in hopes of preventing the unruly crowds from gathering. 

However, more photos continue to emerge of law enforcement making arrests in Miami Beach. Fox News has reached out to the city's police department for further comment. 

A man is arrested while out a few hours past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday. (AP/Miami Herald)

A man is arrested while out a few hours past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday. (AP/Miami Herald)

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Miami Beach Police said more than 1,000 people have been arrested this spring break season, with about 80 guns seized. 

More than half of the arrests were from out of state, said City Manager Raul Aguila, adding many are coming "to engage in lawlessness and an ‘anything goes’ party attitude."  

He also said the crowds weren’t eating at restaurants or patronizing businesses to help generate badly needed tourism dollars, but merely congregating by the thousands in the street. 

Crowds defiantly gather in the street while a speaker blasts music an hour past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday. An 8 p.m. curfew has been extended in Miami Beach after law enforcement worked to contain unruly crowds of spring break tourists. (AP/Miami Herald)

Crowds defiantly gather in the street while a speaker blasts music an hour past curfew in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday. An 8 p.m. curfew has been extended in Miami Beach after law enforcement worked to contain unruly crowds of spring break tourists. (AP/Miami Herald)

The crowds – which have been fighting in the streets, destroying restaurant property and refusing to wear masks during the coronavirus pandemic – drew concern from Miami Beach Police Chief Richard Clements last Monday, when they seemed larger than normal on what is typically a quieter day. 

"We couldn’t go on any longer," Clements said during a meeting Sunday with city officials, defending the curfew. "I think this was the right decision." 

An unidentified man is detained and later arrested on Sunday at 5th Street and Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. (AP/Miami Herald)

An unidentified man is detained and later arrested on Sunday at 5th Street and Ocean Drive in Miami Beach. (AP/Miami Herald)

Miami tourism officials say billions of dollars were lost when the pandemic first erupted last year, canceling spring break and forcing beach closures across Florida. The city's tourism arm just spent $5 million on its biggest national advertising campaign in 20 years. 

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At the same time, local officials banned alcohol from the beach, along with all alcohol sales after 10 p.m. in an effort to curb partying. The city even sent cellphone text messages to tourists warning, "Vacation Responsibly or Be Arrested." 

Miami Beach Police arrive on the scene to disperse a crowd that formed near Seventh Street and Alton Road after crowds were sent away from Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday. (AP/Miami Herald)

Miami Beach Police arrive on the scene to disperse a crowd that formed near Seventh Street and Alton Road after crowds were sent away from Ocean Drive in Miami Beach, Fla., on Sunday. (AP/Miami Herald)

"I just feel like it’s really not fair," tourist Heather Price told NBC 6. "People paid a lot of money to come all the way out here, just to not be able to do the activities they wanted to." 

Fox News’ Bradford Betz and the Associated Press contributed to this report.