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Miami Beach On High Alert As Another Long Spring Break Weekend Starts

MIAMI (CBSMiami) – Another long spring break weekend began Thursday and Miami Beach is on alert.

"What we are experiencing this year is not your typical spring break," said Miami Beach Commissioner Steven Meiner, talking about what many are calling chaos on the South Beach.

CBS4 was able to get surveillance video from South Beach Liquor, which captured last Monday's shooting that unfortunately resulted in the victim's death.

"It's terrifying, it's terrible", said Shaul Menashec, the owner of South Beach Liquor, where the shooting took place. "The fact that people would come and do that especially on vacation to other people it's terrible."

But the shooting was just one of several that has occurred on the beach since spring breakers began flocking to the area.

To curb the larger than expected crowds and the increase in crime, Miami Beach commissioners unanimously approved an 8 p.m. curfew and causeway closures.

"Our officers are far outnumbered and really we don't have the resources to contain the amount of crowds and the kind of behavior we're seeing.  We had over 100 illegal guns confiscated, drugs, it just really became a necessity at that point to do the curfew," said Commissioner Meiner.

Many Miami Beach residents, like Manni Maharaj, are in support of the curfew.

Maharaj, who is the owner of Diya Indian Kitchen, said it has changed how they operate.

"From the very basics, your dishwasher, that person depends on public transportation pretty much, so just for an example, I would have to actually drop some of these guys off 1 or 2 o'clock in the morning. That's the cost of doing business and closing the causeway, so we can have law and order in the city," added Maharaj.

It's a cost Maharaj said he's is willing to take.

But to balance the negative impacts on residents and business owners, the commission also voted to extended delivery hours for restaurants forced to closed early for in person dining.

And Meiner is also proposing a citywide decal so residents aren't stuck on the causeway during lane closures.

"Miami Beach would issue decals to Miami Beach residence and have a business only lane so that residents in the future whether it be public safety or for hurricanes are residents will be easily able to access their homes," he said.

The curfew goes into effect Thursday to Sunday from 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. until April 12.

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