VIRGINIA BEACH-Hundreds of Va. Beach residents crowded a meeting at the convention center Wednesday night to voice concerns about last weekend's violence at the Oceanfront.
Late Saturday into early Sunday morning, there were three shootings, a stabbing and several robberies in the Atlantic Avenue area.
Nancy Rodio talked about being roughed up by five young women inside her own restaurant.
"When they got out of the bathroom and walked out the young lady spit in my face. When I turned towards her the other two hit me upside the head with cell phones, actually twice," she related.
Tens of thousands of people were at the Oceanfront, many of them students attending College Beach weekend.
Police reported earlier this week they made 148 arrests over the course of the weekend.
Councilman Bill DeSteph, who held the meeting, was joined by Police Chief Jim Cervera and Sheriff Ken Stolle. Chief Cervera said his department will learn from what happened this weekend.
"This particular weekend we were prepared for a much smaller crowd than what we observed. There were more than 75 officers; at one point we had 140," he stated.
In a statement to 13News, the organizers of Beach Weekend said they "disavow any connection to these events and repudiate the perpetrators."
One resident at Wednesday night's meeting talked about issues that he says are keeping people away from the Oceanfront in general.
"Each night after the street performances, the sidewalk becomes dangerous. It changes from family to crowds and gangs. Families won't stay out and shop because they're scared," stated Steve Clark.
BEACH WEEKEND ORGANIZERS OFFICIAL STATEMENT
We stand with all people of good will in the condemnation of the violent and tragic events this past weekend in the city of Virginia Beach, Va. that took place near the oceanfront. We the organizers of "Beach Weekend" disavow any connection to these events and repudiate the perpetrators. The organizers of "Beach Weekend" worked very diligently to put together 7 quality events for young professionals. Months of planning went into ensuring everyone participating would have a safe, fun and enjoyable experience taking in all that the city of Virginia Beach has to offer. We also factored in the benefits to the business owners from the influx of visitors that "Beach Weekend" would bring. It was our indefatigable effort to insure appropriate security and as a result there were no fights, shootings, or stabbings at any of our sponsored events or venues. The reports have been misleading and inaccurate. "Beach Weekend" is in its 4th year, and it’s organizers have gone above and beyond to ensure the safety of all participants and the community, as well as reflecting positively on the city of Virginia Beach, it’s residents and the many tourist who choose to vacation here regularly. The city of Virginia Beach has never reported any major incidents during the years "Beach Weekend" was held. We look forward to working with city officials, law enforcement and the community to ensure "Beach Weekend" continues as a peacefully and successful experience.