VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (WAVY) - It's the first weekend of the busy summer tourist season at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront, and a lot of officers are on the streets by the beach. No one wants to see a repeat of last month's college beach week when crowds got out of control. Virginia Beach Police responded to several shootings, robberies, and assault that weekend.
There were not the huge crowds usually expected at the Oceanfront for Memorial Day weekend because of the cooler temperatures. And, it seems that violent beach week is still on a lot of people's minds.
You can hear it in the air and you can see it at every turn on the beach summer tourist season is almost here.
"Memorial day is really the kick off everything prior doesn't really count this is it," said Virginia Beach resident Peter Langlands.
Langlands is referring to the violence that erupted at the Oceanfront during college beach week last month. It's an incident locals say should not define the area.
"That is all water under the bridge. It's done and different weekends there will be all kind of festivals down here, " Langlands said.
Tourists and locals flooded the beach Saturday to enjoy some family time, and watch some professional surfers participate in a competition at the Oceanfront. But, there is no denying that the violent college beach weekend still lingers on people's minds.
"I think the new stories do kind of scare me off from venturing down here especially being new I don't know what to expect," Virginia Beach resident Catherine Shiveler.
Some people say because the violence erupted at night they are now less likely to stay out pass dusk at the Oceanfront.
"You definitely keep a extra look out now when you walk through big crowds of people," Virginia Beach resident Doug Shiveler said. " If you hear yelling and screaming you might want to avoid it a little bit more than you would than you would have before."
The Oceanfront may not be able to shake the memories of that hectic weekend but with more officers and patrols, locals are confident the summer season ill as busy and as vibrant as it always has been.
"If you love the beach more than you are scared of what's going on it's not going to matter," Hampton Roads resident Chantel Spriggs said.
Charges have been made in a domestic abuse investigation involving a 74-year-old woman in Elizabeth City.
Witnesses tell WAVY.com the attack of a shopper was the cause of a heavy police presence at the Ross department store at Military Circle in Norfolk Wednesday night.
Drivers traveling between Hatteras Island and the mainland were forced to use an emergency ferry Wednesday, following the sudden closure of the Bonner Bridge Tuesday.