Days after multiple fights broke out at Walnut Beach in Milford, some changes are going into effect at the beach, including parking restrictions, and police will be tracking social media accounts that promote events that are not authorized, city officials said Wednesday.
In response to what city officials called “overcrowding and unruly behavior,” additional parking restrictions will be in place for the Walnut Beach lots.
City officials said “strengthened infrastructure” will be installed around the beach perimeter and new personnel assignments will be employed.
Milford police will also be tracking social media posts promoting unauthorized, unpermitted events and city officials said the people who organize or participate in “illicit activities” will be prosecuted.
This also comes after multiple fights broke out around 6:30 p.m. on Memorial Day.
Officers who were at the beach because large crowds were expected for the holiday tried to intervene, but they were overwhelmed by the crowd, officials said.
Two police officers were pushed down and their body cameras were stolen, according to investigators. None of the officers were injured.
Witnesses told NBC Connecticut it appeared to be a group in their late teens or early 20’s. Police were forced to shut the beach down. Now, days later, one regular beachgoer who saw the fight happen says she’s, “unnerved.”
“I don’t want to be afraid to come down here because this is such a wonderful area and everyone in general is so friendly,” said Sharon Bolander.
One man, who said he walks his dog along the beach every day, took immediate notice.
“I usually come to the end and bring my dog over that way,” Chuck Haynes said, point to an area where he can walk from the street directly into the parking lot, then onto the beach.
“Now I have to walk all the way up and around the gates because of this nonsense,” Haynes said.
Milford Police Patrol Officer First Class Marilisa Anania said they were going through some video to investigate.
"We have some video and we are going to try and look at suspects and take additional enforcement action for the theft of the cameras and anything related to the fights and commotion that broke out," Anania said.
“Unfortunately, I think it’s somewhat necessary,” Bolander said. “If people won’t behave on their own, they have to be monitored a little bit more.”
Those we spoke with on the beach said they hope the changes bring back the peacefulness they normally enjoy.
“We have some real nice events coming up in the summer here with music and everything,” Haynes said. “I hope it doesn’t impact that.”
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