Daytona Beach spring break crowd larger than expected

Beach Safety Patrol adds officers, look for underage drinking

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – More college students are spending spring break in Daytona Beach after a popular beach destination in the panhandle banned alcohol.

Now, Volusia County Beach Safety added 10 deputies to help control the crowds that they said were more than expected.

"When you add the bigger crowds, then you expect more problems to be arising," said Chief Mark Swanson, of Beach Safety Patrol.

Alcohol is the biggest problem officers said they are facing.

"The underage drinking. We're giving them the opportunity to pour it out first and if they don't comply, then we take it to the next level," said Swanson.

A total of 20 deputies and beach patrol officers will patrol a the most crowded section of the beach in the 200 block of North Atlantic Avenue, but some students said it isn't necessary.

"They're just doing their job but I think if kids aren't being stupid and they're just having a good time, you should just let them have a good time," said one student.

"I think it's just a bit ridiculous. I mean, I know underage drinking is 100 percent illegal, but at the same time, nobody's hurting anyone, no one's doing anything bad," said another.

However, officers said that's not true.

"It was actually a person he was trying to talk to and the person was fighting against him, and the officer got hurt in the process," said Swanson.

Officers said they arrested 21-year-old Jayme Gordon who ran from police and resisted arrest. Police said he had a red disposable cup on the beach, which is a violation of Volusia County ordinance.

"We're just stepping up the presence and make sure people know that we're trying to keep it safe down here," said Swanson.

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