A fence and other property were either damaged or destroyed at the Play By The Bay playground at Sea Isle's Dealy Field. (Photo courtesy of Sea Isle City)


Two juveniles were arrested for causing damage to a municipal playground in Sea Isle City and now face the “most severe penalties” possible when they are prosecuted as part of the town’s crackdown on rowdy and destructive behavior.

Both juveniles were charged with criminal mischief for allegedly breaking fences and destroying property at the Play By The Bay playground at the Dealy Field athletic and recreation complex on 61st Street shortly after midnight on May 29.

“During the prosecution process, the Sea Isle City Police Department will be asking for the most severe penalties on top of financial restitution,” the city said in a news release Monday announcing the arrests.

The juveniles were processed and released on a summons in accordance with New Jersey Juvenile Justice Reform directives. Their names and hometowns were not released because they are minors.

Sea Isle has been clamping down on destructive behavior heading into the summer season to head off a recurrence of the vandalism, theft and public drinking among large groups of teenagers and young adults in the past two years.

“Sea Isle City’s Police will continue a zero-tolerance strategy when it comes to destructive, unruly, disorderly criminal behavior,” Police Chief Anthony Garreffi said in a statement.

Sea Isle Police Chief Anthony Garreffi

In May, City Council approved two new laws to give police the “tools” to prevent troublemakers from disrupting the pivotal summer tourism season.

The laws include a 10 p.m. curfew for minors under the age of 18 and a backpack ban between the hours of 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. for juveniles and adults that will remain in effect until Sept. 15.

Juveniles will not be allowed out from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. on the beaches, the Promenade and the beach blocks unless they have a legitimate reason.

There will be exceptions for minors who are accompanied by adults, are going to or returning from their summer jobs or are participating in formal activities such as recreation programs.

Police will give juveniles at least two warnings to go home if they are out after curfew. If juveniles ignore repeated warnings, police have the authority to take them into custody and call their parents. They will not be arrested.

In another measure to help police prevent trouble from breaking out on the Promenade, adults and juveniles will not be allowed to carry backpacks between 10 p.m. and 1 a.m. each night.

There are exceptions in the backpack ban for police officers, fishermen out on the beach, equipment used by journalists and people carrying medical devices.

City officials say the backpack ban will make it harder for anyone to conceal alcoholic beverages, weapons or other contraband while out in public.

The camera attached near the top of this light pole overlooking the Promenade at JFK Boulevard was part of a test for a new surveillance system.

Garreffi said that as another preemptive measure, dozens of high-resolution surveillance cameras have been installed throughout the city to help the police department keep an eye on things.

“In addition to increased surveillance efforts, we are also asking the public for their assistance in reporting such behavior immediately to the police in order to increase the likelihood of apprehension,” Garreffi said while urging people to call 911 if they see any trouble.

Police received a 911 call reporting a group of juveniles breaking fences and destroying property at Dealy Field’s “Play By The Bay” playground at 12:12 a.m. on May 29.

Officers quickly responded to the scene and found a group of juveniles attempting to leave the area.  During an investigation, Sea Isle detectives determined that two juveniles who were at the playground committed the acts of criminal mischief, according to the news release.

To learn more about the Sea Isle City Police Department, visit the “Police” page at or follow them on Facebook.