NEW SMYRNA BEACH, Fla. - New Smyrna Beach city commissioners approved a curfew Wednesday to try and get control over large groups of young spring breakers that have descended on the area.
City officials say hundreds of kids have been gathering on Flagler Avenue the past few nights, and they want to break up the party.
"The first guy blew pot smoke in my face, the second kid spit in my face, the third one threw whiskey in my face. Then they defecated in my parking lot," described one business owner.
Officials say high school and middle school age kids are being dropped off in town and left without supervision.
"This notion of having spring breakers in this 14 to 17 age gap that are here… a lot of them unaccompanied, where are the parents are back two or three hours from here. That is a new phenomenon," said New Smyrna Beach Mayor Russ Owen.
A number of people spoke before city commissioners in an emergency meeting about what they’ve experienced over the past few days.
They described underage drinking, trespassing, property damage and fights.
One mom says her son, who has cerebral palsy, was shot with an air soft gun.
"Kid popped out of his sunroof and shot Jordan – obviously targeting him," she said.
After hearing all that, commissioners decided to pass that emergency temporary curfew for 11pm every night of the week in the beach side area.
It applied to kids under 18 who are not accompanied by an adult.
Police say it will give them another tool to use with the teens. They’re also bringing in more officers as the city prepares for a busy St. Patrick’s Day.
"We are not the underage party town. We will not become the underage party town. We are a family friendly environment," said Mayor Owen.
The ordinance says police will issue warnings before they cite kids for breaking the curfew. The fine is $50.
They’re hoping to use this as a deterrent and a way wake up the parents.
City officials say they believe simultaneous spring breaks in Orange, Seminole and Volusia school districts have led to the big crowds.
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