☑️ A fight Saturday night in Wildwood put officials on alert for Sunday

☑️ More crowds on Sunday led to a State of Emergency

☑️ Seaside Heights police chief said a TikTok challenge created panic on Saturday

An overwhelming number of calls that threatened the public health, safety, and welfare of residents and visitors and a large boardwalk fight led to a State of Emergency in Wildwood on Sunday night.

Wildwood Mayor Ernie Troiano told New Jersey 101.5's Bill Spadea that it was "stupidity at its best" that began Saturday night when two teens grabbed two others and slammed them to the boardwalk as a crowd of about 150 watched. Two police officers responded along with another man, possibly an off-duty officer.

"And then these kids who weren't around the police officers are cursing and pointing fingers and screaming and hollering. Thank God nobody rushed the police officers. They start gathering around and they're dancing and cheering and it's just stupidity at its best," Troiano told Spadea.

Adding to the confusion were firecrackers lit that sounded like gunshots, which Troiano said sent 300 people running down the boardwalk.

Troiano said that on Sunday he met with police Chief Joe Murphy about being ready if the behavior occurred again with a state of emergency declaration being a possible action. When similar behavior started late Sunday, mutual aid was requested from other Cape May communities but law enforcement couldn't keep up with all the calls.

"We decided that we use the state of emergency," Trioano said. "We're not going to jeopardize the safety of our other residents and tourists that are in the community,"

Troiano said the city will not tolerate “unruly, undisciplined, unparented children” nor let the laws of the state “tie the hands of the police.”

ALSO READ: Jersey Shore chaos: Fights, false shooter kick off Memorial Day

Crowds on the Seaside Heights boardwalk 5/25/24
Crowds on the Seaside Heights boardwalk 5/25/24 (Seaside Heights Beach Cam)

Praise for law enforcement

In a separate statement, Cape May County Prosecutor Jeffrey Sutherland praised the actions of Wildwood and Ocean City police.

“For those who come to our communities to create unrest, be forewarned that your bad decisions and bad actions will not be tolerated and law enforcement will use all legal measures to arrest and charge all violators,” Sutherland said in a statement.

NJ Policemen's Benevolant Association president Peter Andreyev cited parental responsibility.

“Our officers did an outstanding job handling out-of-control and unsupervised teens all along the Jersey shore. It will be a long summer if we don’t hold parents responsible. We all deserve better," the newly installed president posted Tuesday morning on the social media site X.

BILL SPADEA: Jersey Shore chaos: Fights, false shooter kick off Memorial Day

Seaside Heights
Seaside Heights (Bud McCormick)

'Beyond stupid' TikTok challenge

Seaside Heights Police Chief Tommy Boyd, whose department dealt with a false report of a shooting that sent crowds running along the boardwalk Saturday night, blamed a TikTok challenge he called "beyond stupid"

"It's a game we're playing on TikTok. They sit there and scream 'gun' and then they take off. There were never gunshots," Boyd told New Jersey 101.5, adding that going forward anyone who participates in the challenge will be arrested.

With more Senior Week and post-prom visitors expected in the coming weeks and sunny, warm weather forecast for the first weekend of June, Boyd says his department will be ready.

"We're gonna flood the boardwalk with cops this coming weekend and every other weekend. We're gonna be very busy but we're gonna be ready," Boyd said.

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