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West Palm Beach police to enforce downtown Labor Day weekend curfew

Posted at 2:37 PM, Sep 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-09-03 08:35:59-04
Starting at 10 p.m. this weekend, West Palm Beach police officers and CityPlace security will clear out anyone under 18-years-old from downtown. Some business owners at CityPlace say they welcome the curfew and have been worried about unsupervised teenagers in downtown at night. 
 
Reports of shots fired at CityPlace last weekend prompted the curfew. It's a day at work at City Pizza that Bridgette Polak remembers very well. 
 
"It was like a stampede of people outside," said Polak. "Everyone was kind of screaming and yelling just to like get out of the streets and everyone that was in there started running to the back in the kitchen." 
 
Polak says people hunkered down in the kitchen of the restaurant after hearing what sound like shots being fired outside at CityPlace. 
 
"Everyone was crying and calling their loved ones and telling everyone that there was a shooting," she said. 
 
The city and West Palm Beach police are still investigating what happened. They found no shooting victim, but one woman was injured after being hit by a car during the chaos and confusion. The incident led to the downtown-wide curfew this Labor Day weekend for anyone under 18. 
 
"Generally it's 11 p.m. on the weekends, so all we're really doing this weekend is rolling it back one hour," said West Palm Beach City Administrator Jeff Green. 
 
At 10 p.m., private security officers and West Palm Beach police will clear out anyone underage. They will check ID's. Any teenager who refuses to leave will be detained and their parents will be called. 
 
"One of the things that we struggle with is there's a lot of teenagers, there's a lot of adults, trying to make it so that's a good experience for everyone," added Green. 
 
Polak believes the curfew is a good idea and so do some business owners. One said that he would like to see more crowd control of teens. 
 
"Some of the business owners are concerned about it. That's something we're evaluating," said Green. 
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