PRIDE: Interminable Parade Spawns Belmont Mobs, But Fewer Arrests Made

A Pride flag flies over Broadway near Belmont Avenue on Sunday, June 24, 2018

Chicago’s 49th Annual Pride Parade on Sunday ran longer than recent predecessors and its wake kept police chasing ne’er-do-wells through Boystown and Lakeview into Monday morning.

Most of the serious problems radiated from the Belmont Red Line station. As of 4:30 a.m. on Monday, CWBChicago estimates that fourteen arrests were made during the parade and its aftermath.  Most were for battery and reckless conduct. One was for robbery.

While the final arrest total won’t be confirmed for days, it appears that this year’s festivities will record the fewest arrests of any recent parade.

Nonetheless, in an indication of how tense things became for first responders, police and dispatchers declared three “10-1” police emergencies during and after the parade.

We’ll have more reporting on the Pride Parade in the hours and days ahead. A handful of videos that may go viral have already come our way. We have been working overnight to contact individuals who are involved with them to learn more about what is shown. Stay tuned. (Have vids to share? Email them to us in confidence:

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• Large crowds lingered in the Belmont and Sheffield area for hours after the parade concluded. Video footage shows a large group of people surrounding an unmarked police car in the 1100 block of West Belmont before other officers moved in to break up the disturbance.

• Police worked to clear the streets of crowds until after 2 a.m. on Monday. Bars along Boystown’s Halsted Strip and Belmont Avenue closed by midnight—either “voluntarily” or by police order.

• Start-to-finish, the parade lasted 4 hours and 43 minutes, according to police. That’s one minute longer than 2015 parade—except the 2015 march had 100 more units than this year.

The Run Down

Now, as is our tradition, here are some “highlights” of the Pride Parade taken from Chicago Police Department radio traffic.   NOTE: This is not an exhaustive list of police and fire activity. It is merely a selection of transmissions chosen to inform or entertain.

2:54AM — It’s a little early, but police call for more units to handle a fight in the parking lot of Boystown’s iHod (International House of Disturbances).

11:53AM — An 11-year-old boy is missing on the parade route. He’s said to be wearing a ”rainbow unicorn hat with a tail on it.” He’s found five minutes later.

12:19PM — Someone is selling Jello shots out of a blue cooler at Cornelia and Halsted. Officer: “There’s a lot of blue coolers out here!” Another officer: “There’s a lot of all coolers out here.”


1:17PM — Dispatch: “Caller says people are cursing out people on the barricades who are trying to move north” at Halsted and Aldine. A few seconds later, a correction: “Oh, you know what? It says people are being *crushed* on the barricades as they move north.”

2:14PM — There’s a fight on top of a building at Melrose and Halsted.

2:16PM — WINNER! Our first arrest of the day takes place at Roscoe and Halsted. Well done, youngster.

2:38PM — “Is the parade over with?” “NO!!!!” “That’s a negative.”

2:40PM — A woman is foaming at the mouth. Halsted and Belmont.

2:46PM — The last float has crossed the *start* line. It’ll be nearly two hours before it crosses the finish line.

3:08PM — Lincoln and Wellington: Man says an unknown woman asked to use his phone because her car was stalled. She used it, gave the phone back, chugged a beer, got into her car, crashed into another car, and sped off. Female, white, 20’s, heading toward the expressway.

3:22PM — Officer needs another car. There is a couple having sex in the parking lot at the Boystown iHob (International House Of Bowchickawowwow).

3:56PM — Two arrests as large fights break out at Belmont and Clark. Skirmishes and brawls will continue along Belmont between Clark and Racine until the early morning hours.

4:00PM — Voice on the radio: “Let’s get the people outta here.” You wish. This is gonna take a while.

Belmont & Sheffield at 5:50 p.m. 

4:14PM — At Clark Street Dog: Caller says her 19-year-old female friend needs an ambulance. The friend “hasn’t been drinking. She’s just overwhelmed.” We know the feeling, honey.

4:21PM — Police are using horses and bike teams to control massive crowds around the Belmont Red Line station. Four blocks away, the Addison station is said to be “clear.”

4:41PM — Random transmission: “Disregard the battery in progress. It was a misunderstanding over some pizza.”

4:43PM — The final parade participant has crossed the finish line.

4:55PM — “Ten females fighting with bottles” at Cornelia and Halsted.

5:15PM — Broadway/Halsted: An 18-year-old man was walking with his 11-year-old sister when “someone snatched her.” He already called his parents. They’re on their way to the city. He’s crying uncontrollably.

5:31PM — “They’ve taken over Sheffield and Belmont.” Many, many battery incidents are reported in the area.

6:04PM — 30 people fighting in the street at Belmont and Racine. A police emergency is declared after the crowd begins “attacking” an officer’s unmarked patrol car. The incident was captured on video:

7:46PM — Burling and Wrightwood: “A woman is staggering down the street yelling. She staggers a few steps, then she rolls around on the ground.”

8:13PM — Police deputy chief in charge of the parade operation asks to have surveillance cameras aimed at 930 Belmont because sh*t is about to go down. It does. “People are throwing things at officers” and “throwing things from both sides of the street,” police say.

8:30PM — Deputy chief: “Anybody that needs to be locked up, we’re gonna give them a place to stay tonight.”

9:12PM — Oh, great. The train tracks have caught on fire at the Belmont Red Line station. Police evacuate a full train. Power is turned off to the rails. CTA workers put the fire out.

9:33PM — Police witness a fight outside a bar in the 1000 block of West Belmont. Two arrests. Ambulance summoned for an injured woman.

9:46PM — Belmont and Sheffield: Police foot chase erupts after a man beats a woman on the street. Woman taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. Later, the man will be taken there, too, because “the victim managed to defend herself a little bit.”

10:14PM — Group jumping on cars. 3100 block of North Sheffield. Police move in. Video:

10:22PM — 7-Eleven at Halsted and Roscoe is “asked” to close. It closes. Boystown bars follow suit.

10:36PM — “We got citizens throwing bikes at each other.” Newport and Halsted.

OOPS! — Forgot to mention something. That 11-year-old girl who got snatched from her 18-year-old brother? The brother made it up.

10:50PM — Fights begin erupting along Halsted, then spread to Belmont.

11:01PM — Random transmission: “I’m sorry. I didn’t hear that. I was talking to some idiot over here.”

11:03PM — Cop, sounding amazed, reports, “some guy just passed out unconscious right in front of us.” EMS rolling. Halsted and Aldine.

12:25AM — “DUI driver. Clark/Wellington. Look for a black SUV heading north with a female on the hood holding alcohol in her hand. Possible drunk driver.”

1:27AM — The crowd is now throwing bottles. Clark and Belmont.

2:47AM — A Streets & Sanitation crew that is cleaning up Halsted Street sees two men get robbed at Halsted and Cornelia. Police catch one offender. Three others escape. Taken: Cigarettes and cash.

4:12AM — Sex offense in progress. An officer monitoring the pod camera reports “there’s a naked man running around” at Belmont and Sheffield. Based on everything else that’s been going on at that intersection, we’d say leave him alone.

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About CWBChicago 4274 Articles
CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is