Rain-shortened Pride parade spawns 23 arrests (and some pretty entertaining 911 calls)

Chicago police scramble after an officer is battered at the Belmont Red Line station on Sunday. | Snapchat

Rain and the threat of lightning forced Chicago police to end the 50th annual Chicago Pride Parade with up to one-third of its 160 entries still waiting to cross the starting line on Sunday. But the yearly post-parade mayhem continued unabated and CWBChicago this morning estimates that 23 arrests were made in connection with the event and its aftermath.

One of the arrests resulted in the recovery of a handgun. And a 57-year-old man died while watching the parade in the center of Boystown.

Rained Out

A car dancer at Walgreens, 3046 N Halsted | Snapchat

Police started the parade ten minutes early this year, but were forced to terminate the march as a line of storms neared the area around 2:25 p.m. Between 40 and 60 entries had yet to enter the parade route, suggesting that another hour would have passed before the last marchers reached the starting point.

At the finish line, the march crawled along, pacing far slower than last year’s 4 hour, 43 minute run time before city officials called the whole thing off.

A 57-year-old man collapsed in the crowd as he watched the parade at Roscoe and Halsted. Paramedics worked to revive the man in a nearby ambulance, but he was later pronounced dead at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. A heart attack was suspected.

Arrests Increase

Only one person is known to have been arrested in the parade area while the march was underway, but an estimated 22 more were taken into custody during the hours-long afterparty that overtook stretches of Halsted Street and Belmont Avenue until early Monday morning.

The estimated 23 arrests are an increase from 16 last year and 19 in 2017. Still, the number of people taken into custody by police is significantly lower than the 52 arrested in 2015 and 46 detained in both 2013 and 2014.

Jada Ross | CPD

While most of the arrests were for battery and battery of police officers, a Wisconsin woman is facing weapons charges after police allegedly saw a handgun in her waistband when she lifted her shirt to take a selfie.

Jada Ross, 20, was showing off her body for the camera when cops noticed the handle of a handgun sticking out of her waistband as they stood near Belmont and Sheffield around 7:45 p.m., police said. Officers reportedly recovered the loaded pistol and took Ross into custody.

Ross, who is charged with felony aggravated use of a weapon, is due in bond court on Monday afternoon. (Update: Judge David Navarro set bail at $3,000. Ross will need to post a $300 deposit to go free.)

Fights broke out as thousands of spectators made their way out of the parade zone.

Videos posted on social media showed a person being attacked on Belmont Avenue

Another video showed a police officer being surrounded and battered by a group of parade goers. Other officers moved in quickly to quell the situation.

And a very short Snapchat showed a man curled up on the ground as someone says, “they just beat his ass.”

As the night went on, a large group formed in the 900 block of Belmont Avenue, dancing in the street and twerking against virtually anything that remained stationary.

The Weird Ones

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 department activity. It is merely a selection of transmissions.

8:46AM — A report of a man drunk and “propped up against a tree.” 600 block of West Wellington.

9:23AM — “Mr. Evans is being harassed outside the bathhouse. Disputing with staff who won’t let him back in.” 3246 North Halsted.

12:11PM — Female down in the portapotty. “She’s been drinking.” 836 West Irving.

1:50PM — Winner! The first known arrest of the 50th Annual Chicago Pride Parade is made for battery near Belmont and Broadway. The 20-year-old “winner” also has an arrest warrant out of Lake County.

2:14PM — Random officer: “Just for info, if this turns to crap, are we allowed to open the barricades to allow people to leave?” (They were.)

2:17PM — People jumping on vehicles at Belmont and Clark. “Several hundred out here.”  Also, this happened near Belmont and Sheffield. We don’t know what it is, although it looks like an exotic bird mating dance that we saw on NatGeo recently:

2:27PM — A man is taking off his clothes in the northbound lanes of Lake Shore Drive.

2:31PM — Woman is battered by two 12-year-old boys in the Walgreens parking lot, 3646 North Broadway. The boys get away.

2:57PM — The Walgreens at 3046 North Halsted wants to lock their doors to keep a flood of parade-goers out of their building, but the staff is overwhelmed. Also: The crowd is jumping up and down on the employees’ cars.

Wow. Some people are terrified of horses:

3:14PM — People jumping on a CTA car outside the Belmont Red Line station.

4:08PM — Back at the Halsted Street Walgreens, police say there are 200 people on the lot who need to be dispersed. “But there’s only five of us.”

4:20PM — A woman has deployed pepper spray inside Chicago Comics, 3244 North Clark. Employees are locking the door. Police and EMS requested.

4:30PM — Transmission:

Cop: “The manager [of Blaze Pizza]stopped me and asked for some ambulances for people throwing up inside.” 

Dispatcher: “How many people, specifically?”

5:54PM — “Can we get an ambulance to the station for a male white who’s either going up or coming down on LSD?” Also, would someone tell these ladies that it’s easier to push the car from behind?

5:57PM — Dispatcher: “In the ATM lobby, you got a homeless man with his pants off, no underwear, and he’s kickin’ it.”

6:09PM — “A large group of customers are vandalizing the 7-Eleven” at 1153 West Belmont.

6:18PM — They’re twerking on top of cars at Belmont and Clark.

Officer: “They’re doing it, but it’s their own car.”
Dispatcher: “OK. That’s fine, then.”

6:27PM — Ironically, a woman has reportedly fallen through the glass door at the Open Door Youth Center, 3262 North Clark.

6:31PM — A woman is going into labor while stuck in traffic at 3450 North Lake Shore Drive.

6:45PM — Barry and Halsted. “Ya got six ladies outside having a cocktail party.”

6:48PM — Video shows courteous twerkers move out of the traffic lanes to make room for emergency vehicles at Halsted and Barry.

7:22PM — 1010 Belmont: “Five hundred people outside smokin’, drinkin’, and botherin’ people.”

7:27PM — Fire’s rolling for an “incoherent, drunk female with her foot caught in a fence” at 837 West Roscoe.

7:34PM — Man robbed at gunpoint in an alley on the 600 block of West Oakdale. The victim says the offender, a white male wearing a red hoodie, got away with $130 and his phone.

7:40PM — 911 caller says there’s a man under his porch and he can’t tell if the man is crying or having sex.

7:49PM — The woman with her foot caught in a fence has been liberated. She declines medical attention.

9:04PM — Man calls 911 because he was arguing with his boyfriend and now he’s been locked outside on the fire escape.

9:15PM — “I got waved down over here about some girl passed out in one of the portapotties. So, show me over here looking through portapotties.” Dispatcher: “Ew.”

9:15PM — Officer: “Can we get fire over here? I guess with a ladder or someone who knows how to operate a fire escape?” Second floor.

11:20PM — Halsted Street is re-opened for auto traffic.

11:40PM — They’re dancing on cars at Newport and Halsted.

11:42PM — Halsted Street is closed to auto traffic.

11:42PM — Buckingham and Clark: “An intoxicated female is rambling, saying something about a fight. She’s wearing a bikini top and a tutu.”

11:49PM — Sheffield and Fletcher: “Caller says he’s been battered by his friend. The caller is wearing a rainbow t-shirt with a dove on it.”

1:06AM — They’re jumping on police cars at Barry and Halsted. “Yeah. That’s a pretty accurate description…That was our squad car. We insisted they get off and they did.”

1:15AM — Halsted is either re-opened or re-closed to traffic again. We totally lost track.

2:31AM — 3641 North Halsted: “The caller called 911 an hour ago about a man who she thought was breaking in. Now he’s passed out on the street, and people have gone through his pockets.”

3:35AM — 52-year-old man reports that he was robbed on the Red Line at Belmont five hours ago.

3:36AM — 100 people blocking the road at Clark and Belmont.

3:48AM — Regarding the crowd at Clark and Belmont:

“It is breaking up like molasses on a winter day.”
“So it’s frozen?”
“No, just reeeeeeeeal slow.”


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About CWBChicago 4275 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 news@cwbchicago.com