When college students take off for sun-drenched locales to party on spring break, a little chaos is to be expected. But some of this year’s spring breakers have partied a little too hard—turning the fun in the sun into absolute mayhem.
From Miami to Cabo San Lucas, the weeklong festivities have been marred by fight clubs, shootings, a celebrity assault, and even the tragic deaths of a few revelers.
The highest-profile victim of this year’s spring break pandemonium was Def Leppard drummer Rick Allen, who was allegedly attacked by 19-year-old Max Hartley at the Four Seasons Hotel in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, according to The Miami Herald.
Hartley, who according to one 911 caller was “very highly intoxicated,” allegedly bum rushed Allen at full speed while the musician was smoking a cigarette, knocking the 59-year-old over and causing him to hit his head. When a woman approached to help Allen, Hartley allegedly knocked her over, too, and then dragged her to the back of the hotel to keep her from escaping.
Hartley’s lawyer, Sam Halpern, has refuted these allegations, calling his client “an extremely sweet young man” who has “never been in trouble with the law before.”
Meanwhile, a violent incident in Miami’s South Beach on Friday night actually turned deadly when a shooting tragically interrupted St. Patrick’s Day festivities.
Miami Beach Police have arrested one man after the outburst of violence at a bustling intersection that abuts Miami’s palm tree-lined beach left one man dead and another critically injured.
Police have not identified the victims, but they have one suspect in custody who is “cooperating fully with the investigation,” according to police.
Even police officers have not been safe from the wave of spring break violence, with one officer being assaulted by a college basketball player on Wednesday at Fort Lauderdale’s popular Rock Bar, according to authorities.
De’Sean Allen-Eikens, a 22-year-old student at California State University, Northridge, allegedly got into an altercation with a bouncer at the bustling bar, which ended with the 6-foot-6-inch attacker being thrown to the floor.
When police were called, one Fort Lauderdale cop tried to calm Allen-Eikens down, but he instead received a fist swung at his face for his trouble, according to police body-camera footage.
Allen-Eikens, who was seen in handcuffs sporting a bloody nose after the encounter, is now facing charges including battery on a law enforcement officer.
In between these flare-ups, revelers claim to have witnessed impromptu fight clubs breaking out across South Florida’s crowded beaches, according to NewsNation. One included women and frat bros brawling in the sands of Fort Lauderdale, much to the excitement of cheering crowds, reported the Daily Mail.
Yet some of the season’s most tragic events have been caused not by violence but by terrifying accidents.
Liza Burke, a senior at the University of Georgia from North Carolina, was eating breakfast in the Mexican resort town of Cabo San Lucas when she complained of a headache and eventually became unresponsive.
Burke was eventually hospitalized with a brain hemorrhage and flown to a hospital in Jacksonville, Florida, where she underwent surgery.
Though Burke has been reunited with her family after her harrowing medical ordeal, one student from New Jersey was not so lucky.
Henry Meacock, who studies finance at Ohio State University, was confirmed dead on his spring break vacation after a heartbreaking Instagram post by his sister. The cause of his sudden death remains unclear.
“You are an extremely special soul that will live on forever. The most beautiful boy inside and out. Nobody will ever have a smile quite like yours,” Ellie Meacocks wrote.
Given the potential risks, experts and health officials are urging caution during spring break festivities.