Welcome to the Grapevine

The only place for Coconut Grove, FL News, Views & Opinions - Sunlight is the best disinfectant

Friday, October 30, 2015

They want them to disperse, not disappear

I wrote about the Halloween doings that are coming up but I find it so ironic that CocoWalk is promoting a big event for the day and night and the local police are trying to quash it all. But I spoke with Commander Manny Morales and he says the main concern is safety not killing off one of the Grove's signature events. In the past few years, gangs and trouble makers have come to the Center Grove. Many bring their own bottles, which causes them to drink too much and get crazy; you can see the remnants of it at the end of the night, broken bottles line the streets were people had parked, like on Matilda Street and Virginia Street, etc.

Police are out in full force on Halloween night, and I've heard complaints from people about the situation as being hostile. But the Commander tells me that their main objective is safety. They don't want the crowds to disappear, they want them to disperse. As of last year, I'm told that the large group that would hang out in the street in front of CocoWalk was spread out through the Grove. Many would congregate in large groups in different areas of the Center Grove now. But I can see how a bunch of police up high on horses can be intimidating.

The cops on horses have tried to clear the intersection of Main and Grand, trying to keep people on the sidewalks. The event is not sanctioned by anyone and no one is responsible for it, people just show up and people just clog the streets. No one intentionally shuts the streets down, it just sort of happens every year. The police want that to end, they want people be in the bars, in CocoWalk and on the sidewalks.

Years ago, I remember that McFarlane Road was closed down and a radio station, something like Y-100 or Power 96, would have a stage set up down toward the park and there would be beer vendors and food vendors up and down McFarlane and it was sanctioned and it drew people from the very Center of the Village, down toward Peacock Park.

"Our top priority is public safety and in previous years the gangs and drunken violence was creating an atmosphere that was  not conducive to a safe event. We took steps to prevent the illegal obstruction of the streets by the pedestrians, while maintaining their ability to enjoy the party. I fail to see the hostility you mention, but the results and lack of injured attendees speaks for itself," says Commander Morales, who started this Halloween brigade in 2013.

If we can still draw the large crowds and do it in a controllable way, that is the goal. Of course neighborhood streets are jammed packed with people entering and leaving the Grove, but for one night, I think everyone can overlook that and enjoy Halloween.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

The grove for Halloween used to be Miami's marquee event. All the streets were shut down, from Virgina, commodore, and down and a block down mcfarlane. The crowds were huge, the police were present - with the eye in the sky, and yes some on horses. Violence was as rare as any other night, and a good time was had by all.

Then I remember around '08 or so, the mounted police began clearing the streets and literally shutting the entire grove down before midnight. It was very much an intimidation issue, and they were all to happy to arrest anyone who didn't disperse with great speed, or who was separated from their ride home, and needed to go find them on the other side of the demilitarized zone.

It killed off the bar business too, as everyone simply left the grove - halloween went in just a few years from the biggest money maker for the bars to one of the worst nights. Overstaffed and your crowd driven away by police without just cause.

That's the grove. Sarnoff and Sue and Dave pushed and bullied and the police bent to their will.

October 30, 2015 11:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Sarnoff has killed business and everything fun in the Grove, why should Halloween be different?

October 30, 2015 11:53 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So, get out and vote Sarnoff OUT! Let's bring back the FUN!

October 30, 2015 12:31 PM  
Blogger Ferpar65 said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

October 30, 2015 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why do the police have to dictate how a tradition is celebrated? All police have to do is stay out of the way, stand to the side, not get into combative posture and aggressive pose, enjoy the celebrations and let the tradition go on without instigating trouble. Happy Halloween!!!!

October 30, 2015 12:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

YOU should be grateful for the police to have an awareness and have a grip on seeking out folks and gangs who are looking to cause "TUMULT" and trouble in our community and get them isolated and away from folks looking for a chance to party, dance, drink and have a safe Halloween experience. BE SAFE AND GOOD LUCK OFFICERS! Jobie Steppe

October 30, 2015 4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I used to go to the Grove on Halloween night years ago and I had a great time there because the crowds were great and the costumes were erotic and exotic. I walked all over and I never saw any violence or vandalism or the need for a huge police presence. For several years now I've been going to Lincoln Road Mall and the entire mall and blocks around it are packed like sardines at peak hours and it rocks until 3 or 4am. Miami Beach has a small police presence in uniform and plain clothes and the restaurants and bars over there are making a fortune.

November 16, 2015 12:29 PM  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home