|Police in the Loop on Saturday evening. | Via @LHFirm|
Chicago police faced another round of “large group activity” in the downtown area Saturday. Unlike previous incidents, this weekend’s antics played out south of the river in the Loop and Millennium Park areas, according to police reports.
Officially, a police spokesperson this morning said, “there are no confirmations yet on how many were arrested.” CWBChicago confirmed through a source that at least two juveniles were taken into custody.
A group consisting of up to 200 teens was tracked by police officers through the area for a little more than two hours, beginning around 6:30 p.m., according to CPD radio traffic.
After wandering Grant and Millennium Parks without any reported incidents, the groups began to move into the downtown streets around 8 p.m., obstructing traffic and causing trouble for local retailers.
Walgreens at State and Randolph reported large numbers of teens running from the store with stolen merchandise. A convenience store near State and Madison reported similar problems.
At 8:30 p.m., officers reported that some members of another group were throwing bottles and rocks at cops near Madison and Wabash. The two known arrests stemmed from these alleged assaults on officers.
Meanwhile, a couple of blocks away, one small group of teens found themselves encircled by women who wanted to “protect” the youths from the police outside of Macy’s, 111 North State. The women had reportedly participated in a march earlier on Saturday, and they happened to be in the neighborhood to offer their services to the vibrant youngsters as the clock neared 9 p.m.
April 13, 2019. Teens from various neighborhoods converge on Loop, Downtown Chicago to hang out as Spring Break starts. pic.twitter.com/Fq2HNCHjsF
— LEGAL HELP FIRM (@lhfirm) April 14, 2019
Police followed the groups as they made their way to various Red Line stations downtown. Northbound CTA conductors were instructed not to leave downtown stations if large numbers of teens were on their trains.
Regardless of the final arrest tally, Saturday’s incidents were significantly smaller than a series of mob incidents one week earlier in which twenty-one persons, nearly all juveniles, were arrested.