Local Jersey Shore leaders respond to reported ‘civil unrest’ over Memorial Day weekend. Blame ‘unruly, undisciplined, unparented children’

Wildwood and Ocean City experienced a rough weekend after incidents caused panic and disrupted an otherwise picture-perfect start to tourism season.

The boardwalk in Wildwood, N.J. on August 10, 2022 (

File photo: The boardwalk in Wildwood, N.J. on August 10, 2022. (P. Kenneth Burns/WHYY)

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Two Jersey Shore towns had a rough weekend after incidents caused panic in both Wildwood and Ocean City, New Jersey, disrupting what began as a picture-perfect start to the unofficial beginning of summer tourism season.

Wildwood Police rescinded a state of emergency early Monday. In a joint statement, city leaders said police began to respond to an “irrepressible number of calls” for service Saturday night. 

“Most of these calls were related to the extremely large number of young adults and juveniles that were in the city for the Memorial Day weekend. At the peak of this civil unrest, mutual aid requests were sent out to multiple agencies in Cape May County.”

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Officials said the high volume of calls prevented police from responding to certain calls for service, ultimately prompting the state of emergency.

The measure was lifted around 6 a.m. No injuries were reported and officials have not said if any arrests were made. 


“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.”

In Ocean City, officials reported a stabbing on the boardwalk Saturday night.

“Our officers made multiple arrests last [Saturday] night and were able to quickly restore order to the Boardwalk once the teens involved in these incidents were removed,” Mayor Jay Gillian said in a statement to the town’s website. “We have a highly qualified team of officers on the boardwalk and throughout town, and they will enforce all laws to the fullest.”

Police responded to reports of a fight on the 1000 block of the boardwalk just after 9 p.m., according to 6abc. Officers discovered a 15-year-old male was stabbed during an altercation with an unknown male.

The teen was treated at the scene by the Ocean City Fire Department and transported to an Atlantic City hospital for further treatment.

Ocean City and Wildwood are among the shore towns that adopted curfews and backpack bans last summer in response to violence and unrest. Officials say the main perpetrators are teenagers.

Cape May, Wildwood, and Stone Harbor have curfews for anyone under 18 between midnight and 6 a.m. In Wildwood, parents can be fined up to $1,000 if their child is out past the curfew.

Ocean City’s curfew for anyone under 18 is between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. Parents can be fined up to $1,500.

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“Ocean City will always be welcoming to all guests, but I want to send a clear message to parents and to teens: If you don’t want to behave, don’t come,” said Ocean City Mayor Gillian before the holiday weekend.

In Seaside Heights, New Jersey, there was a brief state of panic on the boardwalk Saturday night when there were false reports of a shooting that sent people scrambling.

A video obtained by 6ABC shows a crowd scrambling to get off the boardwalk, but there was no shooting.

Investigators believe it was a bunch of kids causing a disturbance.

Seaside Heights has a curfew for anyone under 18 without a parent or guardian between 10 p.m. and 5 a.m. Parents can be fined up to $1,000 if their child is caught breaking the curfew.

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