MIAMI LAKES (CBSMiami) – A curfew put in place in the Main Street area of Miami Lakes following a Christmas Day melee is working, according to the town’s Mayor.
“According to our police department and Graham Security, there have been zero crimes and zero incidents on Main Street since the curfew and the use of off-duty uniformed town police on Main Street has taken effect,” according to a statement from Mayor Michael Pizzi.
During a town meeting on Thursday evening, Pizzi said he plans to sponsor a measure which would give the town greater authority to require curfews and the usage of off-duty police “insure that things remain as peaceful as they have since these measures were implemented.”
“Many residents have informed me that since we adopted these measures, they feel safe visiting the Main Street shops,” said Pizzi.
The 8 p.m. teen curfew went into effect last Friday, Dec. 30th 2011 after a chaotic flash mob and shooting at the outdoor Main Street Mall caused police to declare a “countywide emergency.”
Thousands of teenagers descended on the mall in part because of a rash of Twitter and Facebook messages encouraging kids to turn out on Christmas night, according to Miami Lakes officials.
“All over the place. It was really crazy,” said Ariel Martinez, the Miami Lakes resident who posted the video of the chaos on YouTube.
The following day Pizzi announced the curfew and that off-duty officers would be patrolling the streets for any unaccompanied minors.
There is still confusion as to what exactly happened but what officials do know is that a mob of teenagers stampeded through the shopping center when either firecrackers, gunshots, or both exploded outside the Cobb movie theater.
Police said as many as 5,000 people were gathered outside the theater when someone set off fireworks and cherry bombs which caused the crowd to scatter quickly. Many ran inside the theater where manager Jessica Cordova said an officer was punched in the face and two of her employees were attacked. Police have not confirmed reports that an officer was assaulted, or whether any arrests had been made.
Then came the gunshots. One bullet hit 16-year-old Derek Rodriguez. He was outside the theater around 10:30 p.m. when a fight broke out. He ran and didn’t realize he’d been hit until he got to his friend’s car. The bullet passed through the right side of his chest and into his bicep.
Police from nine agencies responded to the violence.