|Another satisfied participant at TBOX 2018. | The1stMikeC|
No arrests were made at Saturday’s annual Twelve Bars of Christmas (TBOX) pub crawl in Wrigleyville, based on preliminary information from Chicago police and sources. If that number holds, it will be the second consecutive year that the bacchanal sparked no arrests. Eleven people were arrested at the event’s 2013 installment. Seven were locked up in 2014; then six in 2015 and four in 2016.
Community backlash following high-profile incidents and widespread trashing of the neighborhood forced the event’s organizer, Christopher Festa, to take greater responsibility for the party that until recently was an annual drain on police and fire resources for large portions of the North Side.
|Nothing to see here. Just a bro vaping in a holiday suit with a semi-conscious girl in front of a Chicago flag. (The video is even better) | The1stMikeC|
Festa has added portable toilets, private ambulance service, and more private security resources to TBOX. Even basic steps such as lining Clark Street with barricades to keep participants out of traffic lanes are a relatively recent addition to the event.
The TBOX experience stands as a model for others entrepreneurs who might want to suck up the taxpayer’s police and fire department resources, trash the neighborhood with feces, vomit, and urine, then leave at 8 p.m. to count profits and leave residents to handle the disaster they left behind.
But the lack of arrests is not the only evidence that TBOX has changed. The crowds are much smaller than in past years. The number of police and EMS calls involving “gravity mishaps,” passed-out elves and intoxicated, burglarizing Santas around Lakeview could be counted on two hands this year.
TBOX emergency responses were so limited, we don’t even have enough material to produce our annual run-down of entertaining police and fire department dispatches.
And we’re just fine with that.
In the spirit of the holiday, here are a few of our favorite police and radio dispatches from TBOXes past by…with images and video from our friendly neighbor The1stMikeC.
|It’s precisely what you’re hoping it’s not. (2014) | The1stMike C|
1:26PM — A woman wearing a Santa hat, red sweater, and jeans is urinating under the L tracks at Sheffield and Roscoe “right next to the porta-potties.” In the spirit of the holidays, a man is peeing next to her. (2014)
1:41PM — Two white guys “wearing sweaters and costumes” are fist fighting inside Einstein Bagels. (2014)
1:43PM — Fire Department reports that a man down at Belmont and Seminary is now lying in traffic. He’s wearing a “bright red, fancy Santa suit.” (2014)
2:00PM — The 19th district enters “radio assignments pending” (RAP) status. Essentially, that means all of the district’s officers are busy, and none is available to handle incoming requests for service. It will take more than 2 hours to clear the backlog of calls. (2015)
2:01PM — 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. (2017)
|“But I paid $35 for my wristband! It’d be a shame to waste it.” (2014) | The1stMikeC|
2:33PM — “When the [paddy] wagon is done picking up that prisoner [at 3519 Clark], have them back up 100 yards. I have another one.” (2014)
2:34PM — Intoxicated men are reportedly fighting inside Cesar’s, home of Killer Margaritas, at 3166 N. Clark. One offender is detained by an off-duty ATF agent until police arrive and execute an arrest for battery. (2013)
2:38PM— At 3225 North Southport ya got a “man, semi-conscious, trying to sit up, spitting up, mumbling.” (2017)
2:44PM — Dispatcher: “We got an intoxicated male driver getting into a tan auto. He’s dressed like Superman.” 3500 block of N. Lakewood. (2015)
3:06PM — Dispatcher: “Drunk and disorderly Santas and elves on the street. Roscoe and Sheffield.” (2015)
4PM — Someone 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. (2017)
|Rock & Roll elf or bizarre Jewish street gang? You decide (2016) | The1stMikeC|
4:32PM — Clark and Irving: “male, white, 20-25, red Christmas sweater, drinking in the middle of the street.” (2017)
4:54PM — Ambulance needed at Clark and Eddy. A woman “fell down and split her face open pretty good.” Police opt to transport the woman before an ambulance arrives. (2013)
5:02PM — “A severely intoxicated male, white, screaming for help on the street” at Southport and Waveland. (2016)
5:06PM — 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!” (2017)
5:23PM: Sidewalk inspector! Man passes out and falls face-first into the pavement at Sheffield and School. (2013)
|It’s gonna be just fine, girl. (2017) | The1stMikeC|
5:28PM — The man who was screaming for help on Southport has now crashed onto a store’s Christmas display, and he’s refusing to get up. He’s described as “the man with trees on his sweater who’s sitting on a Christmas display.” 3600 block of Southport. (2016)
5:40PM — 1151 West Eddy: “Unknown male, face down, pants down, lying on the ground.” (2017)
6:03PM — “An intoxicated subject” dials 911 to report that the police took away his TBOX bracelet at Clark and Addison. (2015)
6:09PM — Dispatcher says a drunk female caller sounds “incocksicated.” The “incocksicated” caller says the Cubby Bear won’t let her back in and she thinks she’s being discriminated against. Her friends take her home. (2015)
|“Hey, bro! So Brittany’s in the ambo, but I got her wristband. You want it? I’m going back to Barleycorn.” (2017) | The1stMikeC|
6:19PM — 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.” (2017)
6:19PM — “Male white wearing a white bird costume has passed out on the hood of a car,” 3524 Halsted. (2014)
6:38PM — Male white in a green Santa outfit just punched out a storefront window at Clark and Belmont. (2015)
6:57PM — The 19th District enters its second RAP of the day. No officers are available for timely handling of incoming 911 calls. (2015)
|There ain’t no party like the CPD bus party ‘cuz the CPD bus party don’t stop. | The1stMikeC|
8:17PM — Wellington and Pine Grove for the unconscious white male lying on the ground. He’s dressed like a Christmas tree. (2015)
8:35PM — An intoxicated man calls police because Nisei Lounge’s doorman is “being mean” and won’t let him into the bar. The man promptly passes out on the sidewalk. Ambulance scoops him up for a sleigh ride to detox. (2016)
9:03PM — A resident in the 3300 block of N. Kenmore says an intoxicated teen in a Santa costume keeps knocking on her back door and blocking the entrance to her home. (2013)
9:11PM — Santa teen is arrested for assault. Unknown officer suggests “Santa has too much tea in his box.” (2013)
|The Nunchuck Cracker (2014) | the1stMikeC|
9:30PM — Just some guy whipping nunchucks. [Video] (2014)
9:35PM — A resident in the 3300 block of Clark reports an unknown drunk man on her fire escape. He’s wearing a red holiday sweater. (2014)
10:24PM — Caller wants to make sure that Santa Claus gets home safely. He was lying on the ground at Addison and Racine. (2015)
12:26AM — “Send me an ambulance. I gotta a drunk who slipped on the ice and cracked his skull” outside Slugger’s World Famous Sports Bar.
12:50AM — In the 1400 block of West Cornelia, an unknown male white is sleeping in the first-floor stairwell. The caller does not remember what the man is wearing, but he has antlers. (2016)
9:28 a.m. on Sunday, the day after TBOX – 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.” (2017)
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