Update 5:15 a.m. December 7: CPD now says a 12-year-old girl was also shot during this incident. Story here.
A 15-year-old was shot, a CTA bus driver was beaten, and about 20 juveniles were taken into custody as a “large group incident” unfolded in the Loop on Saturday evening, according to police and initial information from sources.
Acting on intelligence gathered through social media and other sources that hundreds of young people planned to gather downtown, CPD leaders deployed extra resources to the area late Saturday afternoon.
Among the more serious incidents: A CTA bus driver was beaten on the 100 block of North Michigan when he stopped his vehicle to inspect it for damage after he heard a loud noise around 8:50 p.m., according to a CPD statement.
As he examined the bus, a male and female began to push him and then punched him repeatedly before running away, police said. An ambulance took the 49-year-old driver to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition with bruises to his face and body.
The attack was caught on video.
Later, a 15-year-old boy was shot during an argument that erupted when he bumped into another teen on the 200 block of South Wabash around 11:20 p.m., police said.
The offender pulled out a handgun and began shooting at the victim as the argument escalated, then ran from the scene. One bullet struck the boy in his right wrist. He was taken to Lurie Children’s Hospital in good condition.
No one is in custody for the shooting, according to a police statement.
The “large group” began arriving in Millennium Park right on cue around 6:30 p.m. Within 20 minutes, the teens were already fighting and deploying Tazers near The Bean sculpture.
Other antics that are familiar to anyone who’s seen previous “large group incidents” followed: teens were running through the streets, jumping on cars, and battering each other as well as passersby.
Around 8:15 p.m., a group of teens beat up a boy and stole his shoes on the corner of Michigan and Monroe. Officers gave the boy’s age as 13, then 10 years old. He was taken via ambulance to a hospital for bleeding from his nose and the back of his head.
Another group beat up a 7-Eleven clerk at 33 West Adams around the same time.
Millennium Park security began closing the park at 8:30 p.m. after someone lit fireworks that some people mistook for gunfire, causing many to run for safety.
According to initial tallies, ten people were arrested, primarily for minor charges like mob action and battery. About ten more were detained for curfew violations.
Saturday’s incident is the first large group takeover in the Loop since July 4.
But the area saw a string of similar incidents from late April into the summer that police seemed unwilling or unable to control.
Sources with knowledge of the operations said things changed on July 4 when the mayor’s office gave CPD leaders the OK to make mass arrests. At least 52 juveniles and eight adults were arrested that night.