FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Fort Lauderdale police believe hundreds of young people made their way to the beach for one reason this Memorial Day, to cause trouble.
Police described a volatile scene Monday night as they had to arrest dozens of people that were part of unruly crowds.
Two separate incidents late Monday afternoon kept officers busy. One scene was near the area of 31st Avenue and West Broward Boulevard.
The other was near the beach close to A1A.
Police said around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, hundreds of young people made their way to the beach for one reason this Memorial Day, to cause trouble.
Fort Lauderdale Police were in riot gear as a large crowd of young people moved through A1A reportedly causing mayhem.
“We had several reports of individuals who were reaching into vehicles, striking drivers. We have reports individuals who were jumping on top of taxicabs,” said Detective Deanna Greenlaw with Fort Lauderdale Police Department.
Fort Lauderdale Police officials said a group of young people came to the beach to fight and when police quickly broke it up, they scattered through the streets.
“This was something that was planned through these individuals and they were coming to Fort Lauderdale Beach Park for this purpose, to cause a problem,” added Greenlaw.
Some people who witnessed the scene said the situation got out of hand.
Others said police sprayed the troublemakers with mace.
Police tell CBS4’s Carey Codd they arrested dozens of people and shut down bridges to the beach for an hour.
By nightfall police were still at the ready as investigators said a tag team effort between Fort Lauderdale and the Broward Sheriff’s Office kept people safe.
“The Fort Lauderdale Police Department and the Broward Sheriff’s Office showed them that their rowdy, unruliness would not be tolerated,” said Greenlaw.
Despite all the chaos police said they have no reports of any residents or tourists being injured, nor were any police officers injured.
CBS4 News has learned a young person was stabbed but that person apparently did not want to cooperate with investigators or press charges.
Police also said there was a report of a brick being used to vandalize a Broward County bus.
The police spokesperson said transit officials believed that was done by one of the people involved in the altercations here on the beach and bus routes to the beach were shut down after that.
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