Pleas from public health officials and political leaders to avoid large crowds as a step to control the COVID-19 outbreak did not dissuade St. Patrick’s weekend revelers from filling Wrigleyville-area bars on Saturday. CWBChicago estimates that ten people were arrested and at least two robberies were reported along the Clark Street bar district from Saturday evening into Sunday morning.
On Saturday afternoon, Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker expressed disappointment with the crowds of green-clad party-goers he saw outside of Chicago bars.
“We saw a lot of crowds out and about today, and I need to be frank. We can have a massive, positive effect on bending the transmission curve, thereby saving lives, if people will take this seriously.”
Meanwhile, the annual party in Lakeview rolled along without serious incident until a series of fights broke out shortly before 9 p.m.
Two women were the first arrests of the day after police quelled a brawl at Moe’s Cantina, 3518 North Clark, at 8:50 p.m. Three more arrests were made outside of Moe’s about 40 minutes later after a fight spilled into Clark Street.
And, by 9:45 p.m., a victim reported being robbed in the same area.
Police made at least five more arrests in connection with the celebration before the late bars closed at 5 a.m. on Sunday.
One offender pepper-sprayed an officer during a fight near Clark and Eddy streets shortly after 2 a.m.
And another robbery was reported on the 3700 block of North Clark after a group of about six offenders attacked the victim in the middle of the street around 4:20 a.m. Some of the offenders fled eastbound on Waveland in a vehicle, but police had no descriptions of the offenders or their car.
“We have seen positive results in countries that took aggressive action” against COVID-19, Pritzker said during Saturday’s news conference. “If you are young and healthy, listen up: We need you to follow social distancing guidelines too.”