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June 28, 2024

Woman faces charge of making false report about teen with gun on Wildwood boardwalk, prompting evacuation

A 29-year-old from Bristol allegedly lied to police after a dispute at Morey's Piers, authorities said.

Investigations Crime
Wildwood Boardwalk Gun Jon Tuleya/PhillyVoice

A Bucks County woman allegedly made a false report to police about a teenager with a gun on the Wildwood boardwalk on June 22, authorities said.

A Bristol woman has been charged with fabricating a story about seeing a teenager enter Morey's Piers with a gun on the Wildwood boardwalk last weekend, authorities said.

North Wildwood police responded to the area of 25th Street and the beach after Taylor Erickson, 29, allegedly reported that she saw a person with a weapon enter the amusement park on June 22.

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Out of precaution, police ordered an immediate evacuation of Morey's Piers to conduct an investigation. Taylor provided police with a detailed description of the suspect and the gun she claimed to have seen in his possession, authorities said.

But when police found the teenager, he didn't have any weapons. Further investigation, including a review surveillance video from the area, didn't line up with the information Erickson reported.

In a follow-up interview, Erickson allegedly admitted to police that she made up the story because she had gotten into an argument with a group of teenagers.

The incident comes amid increased concern in Wildwood and other shore communities that have dealt with disruptions and violence among young people. On Thursday, North Wildwood police charged two teenagers in an assault that happened on the boardwalk in early June. Last month, a teenager was arrested for allegedly stabbing a 15-year-old boy during a brawl on the Ocean City boardwalk during Memorial Day weekend.

To address these issues, shore towns have imposed juvenile curfews and created more restrictions on their boardwalks and beaches. 

New Jersey lawmakers introduced several statewide bills this week that are intended to crack down on unruly teens. The proposals include upgrading disorderly conduct charges and potentially holding parents liable for the conduct of their children. The bills are not expected to be considered until the fall after state lawmakers return from their summer recess.

Erickson is charged with causing false public alarm and filing a false report to law enforcement officers.