Jersey Shore town declares Memorial Day ‘state of emergency’ as teen stabbed

A popular beach resort at the Jersey Shore temporarily declared a state of emergency over the Memorial Day Weekend amid chaotic scenes and the stabbing of a teenager.

Police in Wildwood, New Jersey responded to an “irrepressible number of calls for service,” on Saturday due to “the extremely large number of young adults and juveniles that were in the city for the Memorial Day weekend.”

A 15-year-old was stabbed during a fight in nearby Ocean City on Saturday, according to authorities. The teen sustain non-life-threatening injuries, according to police, and multiple arrests were made. The stabbing sent crowds of boardwalk visitors running, according to social media videos.

Visitors to the Ocean City, New Jersey, boardwalk flee the scene of a stabbing on 25 May, 2024.
Visitors to the Ocean City, New Jersey, boardwalk flee the scene of a stabbing on 25 May, 2024. (NBC Philadelphia)

On Sunday, Wildwood police chief Joseph Murphy told city officials “that emergent conditions existed due to civil unrest threatening the public health.”

A state of emergency was declared in the early hours of Monday morning but lifted around 6am.

One business owner in Wildwood, who closed his establishment around midnight on Sunday, told CBS News things appeared peaceful at the time.

“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,” Mayor Ernie Troiano, Jr, said. “We wholeheartedly support the City of Wildwood Police Department in protecting this community from these nuisance crowds on our boardwalk and in the city.”

Officials, who said they would not be offering any further comment due to the national holiday, did not specify which incidents in particular prompted the state of emergency.

In the neighboring New Jersey beach town of Seaside Heights, a rumor that someone had a gun prompted panic on Saturday, though no shootings were reported.

The Jersey Shore town of North Wildwood has now approved a curfew for teens ahead of the busy summer tourist season.

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