Police cracking down on spring breakers after curfew put in place by city leaders

NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. — We’ve seen a lot of big crowds on Volusia County beaches this past week and they’re not going anywhere any time soon.

At New Smyrna Beach, police and lifeguards are staying vigilant this weekend with packed beaches, strong rip currents and new curfew rules for teenagers.

Ed Hanak, who lives in New Smyrna Beach, said in his 46 years coming to the beach, last night was unlike anything he’s seen.

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“I’m glad they’ve had the curfew, but they still didn’t leave. It was like herding chickens out of there,” Hanak said. “It was just a massive law enforcement wall coming this way and I don’t know where all the kids are coming from.” Businesses and residents asked for a curfew after seeing disruptive behavior from spring break crowds.

City leaders instituted the curfew earlier in the week.

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The 60-day curfew for unaccompanied minors is in effect for people under 18 east of Riverside Drive and for groups 30 or more elsewhere in the city limits from 11 p.m. to 5 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Friday, Saturday and legal holidays, city officials said. Ayden Bier and his friends are 16 and told Channel 9 from what they have seen so far this week, people just don’t listen.

“Last night we had left at like 11. It wasn’t something that we wanted to do. But then we came back out and people were there,” Bier said. “Whether it’s 11 p.m. or 2 a.m., it’s not like we’re bothering anybody over here or throwing stuff at them.” After a warning the first time, penalties go from a $50 fine to a $100 fine. At least seven people have been caught so far.

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With another 57 days left on the curfew, that number could go up quickly. “I just feel like, it’s spring break, we should be able to have fun. This curfew really doesn’t do anything,” Bier added.

Police said they have also been cracking down on underage drinking and found one person with a fake ID.

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