Lakewood Ranch curfew put to the test

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) - It's "Music on Main" in the downtown business district of Lakewood Ranch, an opportunity to meet your neighbors and share a meal or a drink.

But there's a new rule —if you're under 16, you must have a parent with you.

Just beyond the food and fun, the charred patio area at the Starbucks may have been the catalyst for this new curfew.

For those potentially affected by it, there are supporters. "I do agree, there should be a curfew with all of the things that have been going on in the area. So I think a curfew would be a good thing. But not that early," said Danica Schmucker.

However, others wonder if they are being targeted unfairly, for other's misdeeds.

"I have seen kids goofing off around sometimes. Ya know, when they're not with their parents cuz they think they can do what they want. But at the same time, ya know that's kind of on them," said Mackenzie Hopkins.

High on the list of reasons to initiate the curfew are the parents who drop off their kids at the Movie Theater or events like "Music on Main" and leave them unsupervised.

We did notice groups of young people walking around unchallenged and spotted law enforcement keeping an eye on things.

Lakewood Ranch management cites ongoing issues and concerns from store owners, for its decision to start the curfew.

For some, the jury is still out. "I wouldn't say I'm totally okay with it. But I understand if there has been trouble," said Matt Yeats.

The curfew calls for security to ask kids under 16 to leave or wait with a security officer until their parents arrive.

Since this is private property, the sheriff's office would have to "trespass" people off the property.


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