Spring break is back with a vengeance as raucous crowds storm South Florida; West Point cadets OD

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Chaos reigned in Fort Lauderdale Saturday as Spring Break crowds mobbed the beach with raucous drinking and wrestling just days after a group overdosed on fentanyl laced cocaine.

Considered the first traditional Spring Break since the COVID pandemic, the festivities that began this week are expected to run into late April, the Tampa Bay Times reported. More than half a million Floridian students are anticipated to have time off during the first week alone and these masses have called for new rules in the area.

Some of the safety precautions that The U.S. Sun reports include banning tents and furniture like folding chairs from the beach, prohibiting coolers, electric scooters and even “loud” music and speakers.

In addition to the population already residing in the state, Tampa International Airport expects to see an increase in travelers over the 2019 records by as much as 29 percent. Peak days could see nearly 90,000 passengers arriving and departing the Tampa Bay area compared to around 65,000 in 2021.

Some businesses like the Coconut Inn on Pass-a-Grille have reported their best overall year as tourism in Florida has surpassed pre-pandemic levels. Owner Maggie LeBlanc said, “We had already been super busy on the beach with the weather getting nice lately. We are definitely going to see the volume go up for spring break.”

However, with all of the “pent-up demand” that LeBlanc suggested later, everything hasn’t been pleasant in the Sunshine State. On Thursday a group of six young men, including cadets from the United States Military Academy West Point, were rushed to a hospital from their Wilton Manors rental home after overdosing on cocaine laced with fentanyl, The New York Times reported.

Four of the individuals were reported to use the cocaine and the other two went into respiratory arrest after exposure to the drugs in their effort to administer CPR, Fort Lauderdale Fire Rescue Battalion Chief Stephen Gollan explained. After the anti-overdose medication Narcan was administered, all parties were rushed to the hospital.

Three have been released, one is in stable condition and the remaining two were last reported as being in critical condition on ventilators. Gollan said, “It’s rather alarming that this substance could be out there and that literally one use can put you into cardiac arrest.”

Beth Smith, a spokesperson for West Point, confirmed five of the six individuals involved were cadets at the academy and an investigation has begun.

The local police released a video on the dangers of fentanyl and cautioned tourists on the risk of illicit drugs and the mixing of substances. A follow-up post announced that they had successfully arrested the individual responsible for selling the cocaine to the group.

The individual was identified as Axel Giovany Casseus, 21, and he was apprehended after an undercover detective had “purchased 43 grams of cocaine” for $1,000 on Friday, CNN reported. Casseus was charged with trafficking cocaine and is being held in Broward County Jail.

Despite the cautions and very real dangers posed, the raucous spring break activities have been taking place all week, along with violent fighting.


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