For the fourth evening in two weeks, large groups of teens and young adults overran parts of the Loop and Millennium Park on Saturday evening, according to police and social media accounts. Several fights were reported, passersby were battered, a shoplifting mob struck a Walgreens, and police arrested at least one person who was openly carrying a gun. Police officers took several juveniles and at least two adults into custody.
“If you all got kids downtown, please get them, y’all,” one woman said on Snapchat while driving in the area. “They running through the streets. Had to come save one of them. Like, come on you all. Its so f*cked up…Like seriously, like, it’s no f*cking joke”
Saturday’s incident began when a group of teens and young adults began fighting in Millennium Park near “The Bean” around 6:37 p.m.
“It has begun,” one officer said upon hearing about the brawl.
At 6:45 p.m., an CPD bulletin informed police and city leaders that “approximately 100 teens has gathered in the area of Millennium Park. Park District security is closing the area near The Bean. The group is blocking traffic and fighting.”
One social media video from around that time shows a couple of men running and jumping barricades on the edge of the park near Michigan Avenue. People can be heard screaming in the background. One man falls to the ground and is quickly detained by police for unknown reasons.
A group of about six young males and females beat a man as they rode a northbound Red Line train near Harrison at 7:10 p.m. The victim exited at Jackson and filed a report with officers who were stationed at street level.
Another group of teens conducted a shoplifting raid at Walgreens, 2 North State, around 8 p.m. The Chicago Tribune reported that a Walgreens employee who answered the phone “said looters were inside the store about 8 p.m.”
The paper later revised its story to say the employee “said there was a group inside the store who were shoplifting about 8 p.m.”
Around the same time, a tourist from suburban Minneapolis recorded a fight outside Primark, 35 North State, from his room at the Staypineapple Chicago hotel. Another fight outside Target, 1 South State, resulted in an arrest and an ambulance dispatch, according to city records. A police supervisor warned cops not to leave their CPD vehicles unattended to minimize the risk of them being damaged.
Then, shortly after 9 p.m., a covert police unit reported seeing someone walk directly past them with a gun in his hand as they sat in an undercover vehicle near Madison and Wabash.
“This kid has a gun in his hand,” the officer radioed. “He’s running thru the alley.” Other officers arrested the person and seized a handgun moments later.
The activity slowed as rain moved into the area, but dust-ups continued to be reported until after 10 p.m.
Similar “large group” incidents also unfolded last weekend. On Saturday, May 1, police arrested three adults, at least six juveniles, and recovered two guns, according to CPD reports. The next night, three more adults and at least five juveniles were arrested. Cops seized one firearm that night.
No arrests are known to have been made during the first recent “large group” episode on April 27.
CWBChicago will post updates when charges are filed against the adults who were arrested last night.