TOMS RIVER — The curfew on the beaches of Toms River has been moved back an hour from 11 p.m. to 10 p.m. after residents and business owners complained about large groups of rowdy teenagers.
The township instituted a 2020 9 p.m. curfew for children 17 and under if unaccompanied by a parent or guardian in North Beach when rowdy crowds of teenagers gathered . It was brought forward one hour to 10 p.m. in 2021.
The curfew was put in place again this summer until 11 p.m. after unruly behavior during the Memorial Day holiday. Ortley Beach has also been added to the curfew. The curfew was moved back to 10 p.m. in early August, effective August 11.
“This change to a 10 p.m. start time was made in response to requests from Barrier Island residents and businesses and to make curfew times consistent with neighboring communities,” the township said on his Facebook page.
It hasn’t been a calm summer for residents who aired their frustrations at the July 27 town council meeting, complaining of unruly teenagers hanging out on the beach, preventing visitors from going out at night or even forcing summer residents to return home.
“We’ve had residents and guests who live on Ocean Avenue say, ‘I went home this weekend. I can’t be here with 50 and 100 kids walking past my house,” said Paul Jeffrey of the Ortley Beach Taxpayer Association. He said the association has spoken to tenants and asked them to be aware. their adolescent’s behavior.
Crowds are bad for business
The focus of some complaints is the Barnacle Bill’s amusement area and the large, rowdy groups that congregate there. Co-owner Jo Ann Petruzel addressed the board and said the large number of teenagers was also causing problems for the business. They hunt families with young children and bathrooms have to be locked due to the mess left by the groups.
“I have nothing against children hanging on our property. It’s been going on for 60 years, but not at those numbers. It takes a whole different animal when you have 100, 400, 500 children. They’re loud, many are obnoxious and are rude and abusive to our workers,” Petrazel said.
She also asked the police to better enforce the curfew and find out the source of the groups.
“I hear TikTok. I have no idea – I’m not there but that’s what young people told me.
Crowds captured on video
Videos and incidents posted on social media in recent weeks showed large groups of teenagers on northern beaches but resulted in no arrests, according to Toms River Police spokeswoman Jillian Messina.
A video posted on July 24 showed a group chanting “F**k Joe Biden” as they made their way to the beach. Part of the crowd scaled a fence instead of staying in the street.
Independence Day weekend was a busy one for Toms River Police with two incidents over two nights, according to Toms River Police Chief Mitch Little. A group of 40-50 minors refused to leave Silver Beach at 11:30 p.m. July 3 and were reported by a private security company. Few said once the police arrived they dispersed. An 18-year-old from Park Ridge was arrested for theft after stealing a decorative sign.
A more rowdy group of 400 to 500 people gathered on 4th and Ocean Avenues blocking traffic and not immediately leaving the area when asked by police. A teenage girl gave a police officer her middle finger and kicked him repeatedly. As the officers took him into custody, the crowd threw rocks and tried to interfere with the arrest.
The curfew is in effect until September 30.
Dan Alexander is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at [email protected]
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