Wildwood lifts state of emergency after civil unrest at Jersey Shore during Memorial Day weekend

Monday, May 27, 2024
Wildwood boardwalk businesses reopen after state of emergency
Charles Watson has more on the impact of the state of emergency on Wildwood boardwalk businesses.

WILDWOOD, New Jersey -- Wildwood police say they have now lifted the state of emergency that was put in place in the Jersey Shore community Sunday night.

The move to close the boardwalk came after what authorities say were numerous incidents of civil unrest.

The city says large, unruly crowds of young people threatened the safety and wellbeing of residents and visitors -- behavior that officials say they will not tolerate.

"Wildwood will not tolerate unruly, undisciplined, unparented children nor will we stand by while the laws of the state tie the hands of the police. We wholeheartedly support the City of Wildwood Police Department in protecting this community from these nuisance crowds on our boardwalk and in the city," said Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano Jr. in a statement released on the weekend chaos.

High volume of calls also prevented police from responding to certain calls for service, which prompted the state of emergency to be issued just after 12 a.m. Monday morning, officials added.

Dan Schindler, the owner of East Side Surf Shop, says Memorial Day business and behavior on the boardwalk was fairly good. So he was surprised to learn about the state of emergency.

"When we left last night everything was under control and everybody seemed to be behaving," he said. "They started to enforce a curfew last night around 10:30 p.m., removing or asking people to leave the boardwalk who were under 18. For the most part, everyone complied."

Authorities say the emergency measure was able to effectively address the problem, and thanked shore visitors and residents for coping with the inconvenience.

No injuries have been reported and police have not said if any arrests were made.

The state of emergency comes following a chaotic scene on the Ocean City boardwalk Saturday night, after police initially responded to reports of a fight.

Earlier over the weekend, detectives say someone claimed there was a gun and a possible shooting in Seaside Heights.

A crowd scrambled across the boardwalk, but there was no shooting. Police say it was a bunch of kids causing a disturbance.

Back in Wildwood, Schindler says he welcomes the presence of police for the wellbeing of boardwalk businesses.

"Police do a great job of patrolling the boardwalk," he said.

The city of Wildwood says it is prepared for any bad behavior that may pop up in the future and it will continue to be proactive in enforcing state laws.


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