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NJ teen stabbed at popular boardwalk, 'civil unrest' hits another beach town

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Police in Ocean City, New Jersey are investigating a stabbing incident and another nearby beach town declared a state of emergency on Memorial Day weekend.

Police responded to the boardwalk Saturday evening to find that a 15-year-old male had been stabbed by an unknown male suspect. The individual was transported to an area hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries.

"As in recent years and in other shore towns, Ocean City experienced a number of issues related to large crowds of teens on the Boardwalk, fights, shoplifting and disorderly conduct during the start of Memorial Day weekend," Ocean City Mayor Jay Gillian said in a statement. "I understand the impact that this behavior has on all of our residents, guests and business owners, and I want to assure everybody that Ocean City will not tolerate it."

"Our officers made multiple arrests last night and were able to quickly restore order to the Boardwalk once the teens involved in these incidents were removed," he added.

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People walk on the Ocean City boardwalk in New Jersey in 2023. (Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images)

"We have a highly qualified team of officers on the boardwalk and throughout town, and they will enforce all laws to the fullest," Gillian assured residents.

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"Ocean City will always be welcoming to all guests, but I want to send a clear message to parents and to teens: "If you don't want to behave, don't come,'" he warned.

Police responded to the boardwalk Saturday evening to find that a 15-year-old male had been stabbed by an unknown male suspect. The individual was transported to an area hospital and is expected to recover from his injuries. (Patrick Smith/Getty Images)

Further south in Cape May County, the Wildwood Police Department declared a state of emergency just after midnight Monday due to "numerous incidents of civil unrest." They rescinded that declaration hours later but did not say in a press release if anyone had been arrested.

The violence comes as a shortage of lifeguards is prompting some municipalities to close or reduce operating hours for beaches and swimming pools as the weather heats up and people look for outdoor aquatic activities to cool down.

A shortage of lifeguards is prompting some municipalities to close or reduce operating hours for beaches and swimming pools as the weather heats up and people look for outdoor aquatic activities to cool down. (Theo Wargo/Getty Images)

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In New York City, beaches will open for Memorial Day weekend, but only 230 of the 600 lifeguards needed to fully staff and patrol the areas have been hired. 

"There are some beaches that will have shortened hours or may not even be able to have a full complement because we have … a national lifeguard problem that we're trying to resolve here in the city," NYC Mayor Eric Adams said this week.  

Fox News' Louis Casiano contributed to this report

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