|A CTA bus passenger watches cops wrangle teens at the Belmont L station. | Provided|
UPDATE 2: Final charges have been announced. INFO HERE.
Ten juveniles are facing charges after they assaulted, battered, and threatened a series of people and businesses in Wrigleyville during a two-hour spree following last night’s Cubs game, according to police and witnesses.
A police spokesman said early Thursday that preliminary charges awaiting approval include mob action, retail theft, and assault for the juveniles who are all between 13- and 16-years-old.
The mayhem began around 4:20 p.m. when about six of the teens shoved boxes of candy into backpacks and ran from Walgreens, 3646 North Broadway, according to police. A SnapChat user unwittingly captured one of the boys selling the candy outside of Wrigley Field a few minutes later.
|Skittles sale at Waveland and Sheffield | SnapChat|
The spree took a serious turn one hour later when 911 callers reported that “10 to 15 children” were surrounding and battering people in the 3500 block of North Clark Street around 5:35 p.m., police said.
One man was beaten up outside the Cubby Bear, 1060 West Addison. Police on the scene summoned an ambulance for the victim who was bleeding from his ear. Another victim was attacked by the group near Irish Oak, 3511 North Clark Street.
Merkle’s Bar and Grill reported “six to eight children” throwing candy through the bar’s windows at 3516 North Clark.
Around the same time, the mob stole merchandise from a smoke shop in the 3400 block of North Clark Street, according to police.
Then, another man was attacked on the street at Newport and Clark.
As emergency dispatchers tried to get a handle on all of the incoming calls, they asked officers if the mayhem was the work of the same group of children.
“It’s all the same little a**holes,” a cop replied.
Police said a 35-year-old man who dialed 911 while following the group was threatened with physical harm by the youths. He backed off when confronted, but pressed assault charges after the teens were in custody.
Cops eventually caught up with the group at the Belmont Red Line station where some of the smaller members of the mob squeezed through a back gate to gain free entry, police said.
Commuters arriving on trains and buses at the Belmont station found themselves in a scene of general chaos shortly before 7 p.m. as a large group of cops wrangled the teens and eventually handcuffed the ruffians to each other. Witnesses and victims from the retail thefts and assaults were brought to the station to identify the horde.
Prosecutors and police were continuing to work on final charges as of 1 a.m., according to a police spokesperson.