KISSIMMEE, Fla. - The Osceola County Sheriff's Office says it's been breaking up crowds in vacation rental areas since the coronavirus pandemic began and now deputies are seeing more and more.
Deputies have targeted three different areas in the county since March. People have been seen gathering in big groups, dancing outside, and parking on front lawns and sidewalks.
The Sheriff's Office says on July 12 at the Windsor at Westside, a vacation rental community in Kissimmee, huge crowds were seen outside. When deputies tried to break up crowds, they say someone threw fireworks at them.
"And then on top of that exposing our deputies unnecessarily to COVID-19 because of such a large crowd of people in one place," says Major Jacob Ruiz with the Osceola County Sheriff's Office
These groups are gathering as COVID-19 cases in Florida skyrocket.
"The people attending these parties have no regard for what the virus is, trying to stop the spread of the virus," adds Major Ruiz. "These parties seem to be happening more often even now since the state has reopened and things are trying to get back to normal they even care less about it."
Major Ruiz says since March there have been 600 noise complaints at three different vacation rental communities in Osceola County. Major Ruiz is asking people to continue to report big crowds.
"We are counting on our community to call us as soon as they see a large gathering," Major Ruiz explains. "These are neighborhoods. where people live here full time, and then people who come on vacation and fall victim to this and exposed to these large out of control parties."
In May, the Osceola County Commission put an executive order in place saying vacation rentals cannot be used for big events or gathering and only people listed on the reservation can be at the homes. The Sheriff's Office says they are trying to work with the HOAs in the county to look for solutions.