Thousands of people flocked to beaches in Massachusetts with this weekend’s steamy weather, and police had their hands full with rowdy crowds along the coast.
Thunder and torrential rain in South Boston cleared parts of Carson Beach but the beach was packed before the storm rolled in Sunday.
“The rain moved in, we got a little bit of rain drop but hey it broke up the humidity a little bit,” said Brian White. “And it was all in all a great day.”
The rain ushered in some cooler temperatures after the thermometer soared all weekend. But the weather did lead to crowd control issues.
Hundreds of people gathered on Carson Beach in South Boston with state police keeping a close eye on the action.
“I did see there have been a lot of police,” said beachgoer Meera Varshneya. “More police securing the area, so it’s good to hear that we can continue to enjoy it but still feel a bit safer.”
Patrols were stepped up after thousands of beachgoers on Revere Beach and Carson Beach turned out Saturday, resulting in fights, disorderly behavior, fireworks and underage drinking. Chaotic situations like these are difficult to handle, but especially so when a department has critically low staffing levels, the State Police Association of Massachusetts said.
Twelve people were arrested in all Saturday, with charges ranging from domestic assault to operating under the influence and illegal possession of a knife to disorderly conduct and resisting arrest.
Troopers say they were met with violence and disrespect on Saturday and beachgoers refused to disperse after countless fights broke out with the unruly crowds becoming a major safety concern.
Some of the troopers were attacked while making arrests.
State police said four more arrests were made Sunday on Carson Beach as troopers worked to keep the peace as many in the crowd again engaged in unruly and disorderly conduct. Three juveniles and one adult were arrested Sunday and charges included assault and battery as well as disorderly conduct.
One more arrest was made Sunday at Revere Beach, where the crowd was thinner than Saturday. That person was charged with assault and battery with a dangerous weapon and disorderly conduct.
State police said they welcome their mission to keep the state beaches safe for all visitors from all walks of life.
"All we ask is that beachgoers respect the rights of others around them and abide by the law and beach rules," state police said in a statement. "We are grateful to the man beach visitors who did so this weekend."
As police dealt with unruly crowds while temperatures soared well into the 90s across the region this weekend, the State Police Association of Massachusetts issued a strongly-worded statement condemning what they called unacceptable behavior.
"Going to the beach with family, friends and loved ones is a longtime treasured New England tradition. Everyone should be able to enjoy the beautiful weather and beachfront at DCR properties the Commonwealth has to offer," part of the statement read. "It is disheartening that a group of individuals have created such an unsafe environment that families, and other communities members are not able to partake at the beach without fear of violence."
The state police union said it had this message for the public: "We will not let the safety of our community be jeopardized. These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated."