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Ocean City city council to hold emergency meeting due to new beach rules

Ocean City council to hold emergency meeting about new beach and boardwalk rules
Ocean City council to hold emergency meeting about new beach and boardwalk rules 01:57

OCEAN CITY, N.J. (CBS) -- An emergency city council meeting has been called in Ocean City Thursday as the mayor aims to take action against unruly teenagers. The mayor is introducing new rules after he says property was damaged and large crowds of drunken teens caused chaos over the holiday weekend.

After Ocean City's mayor says Memorial Day weekend was filled with large crowds of drunk and unruly teenagers on the beach, the city's chamber of commerce told CBS News Philadelphia something needed to be done.

"Those groups that were on the beach are a distraction from our businesses," Michele Gillian, executive director of the Ocean City Chamber of Commerce, said. "We are a clean safe community and we want to stay that way."

The mayor says police responded to nearly 1000 incidents over Memorial Day Weekend involving vandalism and assaults and firefighters fielded numerous calls for teens who drank to the point of unconsciousness.

The mayor has signed orders to close all beaches in Ocean City at 8 p.m.

No one will be allowed to carry backpacks on the beach or boardwalk after 8 p.m. as well.

"I would've liked to see adults, 18 and older on the beach if they're not causing any trouble," Domenic Sciullo said. "Let them enjoy it, get the kids off the beach."


"It's pretty strict but I think in the end it's going to be best to keep everyone safe," Joelle Schaefer said.

The new measures will also move up the city's curfew for teenagers from 1 a.m. to 11 p.m. and boardwalk bathrooms will now close at 10 p.m.

"The bathrooms being closed early could end up really bad, especially if it's an emergency and they have to go," Ethan Swoyer said.

The mayor argued the orders are needed because new laws at the state level have put limits on how police can respond to rowdy teens. The chamber says businesses don't want a repeat of last weekend or worse for things to escalate before summer even gets started.

"Just one bad incident could ruin everything for everybody for the summer," Gillian said.

The city says these orders will take effect before the weekend.

The mayor and the police chief are also expected to hold a news conference Thursday afternoon after the emergency city council meeting.

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