Police from six surrounding communities reinforced local authorities in putting down a riot by 3500 vacationing college students, unhappy at being denied access to their favorite spot for romancing, an unlighted beach north of Ft.
Police from six surrounding communities reinforced local authorities in putting down a riot by 3500 vacationing college students, unhappy at being denied access to their favorite spot for romancing, an unlighted beach north of Ft. Lauderdale.
The riot broke out March 26 on busy U.S. A1A, flanked on one side by a warm, sandy beach and the Atlantic Ocean and on the other by a row of bear taverns where the students cool off between sun bathing sessions.
As resentment grew over closing of the unlighted beach, students began halting traffic by lying in front of cars.
Police arrived and ordered the students to disperse, but were met with a volley of stones, beer cans and bottles.
Police Chief J. Lester Holt called on all available police, firemen, sheriff's officers and Florida highway patrolmen. Traffic was routed away from the beach area and fire trucks and squad cars converged on the scene.
For nearly two hours the situation was out of control, and the students surged through police lines, hackling officers and continuing to pepper them with empty beer containers.
The riot began to weaken as high pressure fire hoses were trained on front lines of the students and officers threw apparent trouble-makers into paddy wagons. About 50 students were arrested on charges of disorderly conduct and another 25 were injured by flying glass from broken beer bottles.
Officials credited two collegians with helping restore order. Jim Dickie, identified as a quarterback on the Indiana State College football team, climbed atop a police car with a land microphone and urged the students to end the riot.
Mickey Lamonica, a pre-law student at the University of Miami, performed a similar service through the police loudspeakers.
The outbreak was the most serious in the 16 years college students have been making pilgrims here for their Easter vacations. Each year the number of students participating has grown, there have been & increasing cases of vandalism, disorderly conduct, public intoxication or other offenses, but they have been mostly minor.
Last year about 35,000 students arrived. Their visit cost Fort Lauderdale about $35,000 for maintenance and policemen's overtime salaries alone.
But the Chamber of Commerce estimates the students spend about a million dollars during the brief stay. Much of the financial exchange is concentrated on beer, hamburgers and sun tan lotions.