|A couple of festive “nesting dolls” take up residence on Clark Street. | Video grab from @the1stMikeC|
Five years ago, a Wrigleyville Christmastime bar bacchanal called TBOX resulted in a drunken stabbing, multiple arrests, and a destroyed neighborhood.
Four years ago, our site was brand new and we began tracking TBOX activity and reporting on the organizer’s efforts to be a little less of, frankly, an asshole to our neighborhood.
Since we began reporting on TBOX many changes have been introduced: They hired private security to contain their mess and private ambulances to haul off their intoxicated customers—jobs that used to fall into the hands of the local police district and firehouses. In 2013 and 2014, TBOX could single-handledly be thanked for depleting emergency personnel across the North Side.
For the first time, CWBChicago can report that a TBOX event resulted in no arrests this year. That’s down sharply from eleven in 2013. There were seven arrests in 2014; six in 2015; and four last year.
Held Saturday, crowds appeared thinner than in recent years—possibly due to a reduced number of participating bars.
It sure is neat when for-profit entities take responsibility for their events rather than pushing it all off on the neighborhood to deal with.
Of course, we kept track of emergency radio traffic throughout the event. Reflecting the day’s reigned-in antics, the list of interesting calls is much shorter than in previous years:
|Ewww. Maybe they aren’t nesting dolls after all.|
9a.m. — Nothing says Christmas like the annual arrival of the Chicago Police Department’s “Big Scary Bus” in Wrigleyville.
“… my kind of town”
Bless this CPD bus. pic.twitter.com/nkMDj0Cn4K
— Chicago Bars (@chicagobars) December 9, 2017
1:27 p.m. — Deuces wild! “I need a fire inspector and a (police) organized crime unit at Deuces!” 3505 N. Clark.
2p.m. — Early afternoon video…
2:01p.m. — The 19th District runs out of police officers to handle incoming calls for service. 911 calls will be stacked up to await officer availability. This condition—known as a “RAP”—will continue for the next 7 hours and 52 minutes.
2:35p.m. — The unhinging begins. Addison east of Clark: “Man down, cracked his head. Intoxicated.”
2:38p.m. — At 3225 North Southport ya got a “man, semi-conscious, trying to sit up, spitting up, mumbling.”
|You know what they say. “Early bird gets the worm!” | Video grab from @the1stMikeC|
4p.m. — Video of what you “missed.”
4p.m. — A TBOX attendee vomits into the “Toys For Tots” donation bin at Nisei Lounge, defiling gifts intended for underprivileged youngsters. Nisei Lounge immediately launches a drive to replace the damaged items.
|At TBOX, the early bird gets the ambulance.|
4:15p.m.— Criminal damage in progress. 3167 Clark. The Uber driver refused to pick up four people who are too inebriated. They’re kicking his doors and harassing him.
4:32p.m.— Clark and Irving: “male white, 20-25, red Christmas sweater, drinking in the middle of the street.”
4:50p.m.— “Suspicious person. Male white, intoxicated, red shirt, checking car doors” at Clark and Addison.
5:06p.m.— Battery report at Barleycorn. A woman says the bouncer battered her. In the background, a woman is heard screeching, “That’s not how you handle a girl!”
5:40p.m.— 1151 West Eddy: “Unknown male, face down, pants down, lying on the ground.”
6p.m. — Video update from @the1stMikeC
|Some holiday costumes are timeless, like this blazer-wearing cowgirl Sox fan. | Video grab from @the1stMikeC|
6:19p.m.— A few steps away in Boystown: “Ride with EMS. Halsted and Bradley. Unknown male bleeding. He says he was kidnaped. Male white, Santa hat, and reindeer sweater.”
6:43p.m.— Officer at 3463 North Clark: “I think we got a lady who’s a little unresponsive right now.” Private ambulance dispatched.
7:23p.m.— Check the well-being at Addison and Wolcott: “Male white, 30’s, wearing a blue Christmas sweater, knocking on car windows in traffic.”
9:40p.m.— Fire Department assist in the 1200 block of Fletcher. “Caller says someone in a green sweater kicked him and chased him.”
10:34p.m.— So, regarding that call an hour ago on Fletcher: “Mario is now calling about his friend who went inside a house and did drugs with him on Fletcher.” His friend is missing and Mario is hiding in the bushes outside of 7-Eleven at Racine and Belmont.
10:39p.m.— Sergeant frees Mario from the bushes and reports “this is a possible OD. His friend was unable to be awakened and this guy was thrown out of the apartment by the man in the green suit.” Fire department requested for the Fletcher address.
10:55p.m.— Sergeant: “Disregard fire. He has popped back to life.” Dispatcher: “Good to hear!”
|Ain’t no party / Like the big scary bus party / Cuz the big scary bus party don’t stop!|
12:11a.m. Sunday — Dispatcher: “Is that TBOX crawl done with?” Sergeant: “I think it’s over, but the rest of the intoxicated people are still walking around.”
9:28 a.m. Sunday – Tweet from Nisei Lounge: “To be scrupulously fair, 85% of the #TBox2017 people we got were delightful. But yes, this was still our last year.”