Video shows aftermath of Boystown street brawl as alderman expresses concern about Pride Parade

Reginald Bridges (left) and an image from the newly-released video. | CPD; @kevmwoods via Twitter

Update 4:53 p.m. — The Twitter user has removed the video.

A short video posted to Twitter this morning is giving the public its first, albeit brief, look at a tense situation that unfolded in Boystown early Monday as an estimated 75 people engaged in widespread fights along the Halsted Street nightlife district.

Officers at the scene repeatedly called for more help as dispatchers tried to secure resources from other police districts during a 20-minute melee that one cop said involved about 75 people. Police officers declared two separate “10-1” police emergencies during the incident.

After learning about Monday’s confrontations, Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) told CPD Supt. David Brown that he was “very troubled by the situation … and do not want to see it repeated” over the upcoming weekend when even larger crowds are expected in the area for the annual Chicago Pride Parade.

The newly-released video clip appears to show officers arresting someone as another cop limps away and braces himself on the sidewalk using his baton.

“Video captures the aftermath of a person fleeing police and running directly into another crowd of lined up officers,” @kevmwoods said in a description that accompanied his post.

Reginald Bridges, 20, was charged with aggravated battery of a peace officer and felony resisting after police arrested him during Monday’s incident.

Prosecutors said there was a “large police presence” in the area for a “civilian disturbance” when Bridges became “verbally aggressive with officers.”

Bridges moved close to one cop, who extended his arm to create distance, prosecutors said. Bridges ignored the officer’s command and swung at the cop, striking him in the jaw, according to the allegations.

Prosecutors said Bridges ran away, pushed past private security guards and collided with another CPD officer, who fell and struck a curb with his back and elbow. Bridges fell on top of the second cop and was arrested. The events were recorded on CPD surveillance cameras and police bodycams, prosecutors said.

The injured officer suffered injuries to his elbow, arm, shin, and back, prosecutors said. He was treated at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center.

Bridges has no juvenile or adult arrest record. His defense attorney said he works at a restaurant in River North. Judge Maryam Ahmad set bail at $6,000, meaning Bridges had to pay a $600 deposit bond to get out of jail.

During Monday’s incident, officers repeatedly asked dispatchers to send more cars to the scene from other police districts.

“We got about 75 people going crazy out here,” an officer said.

“Ask other districts to send cars here. This is absolutely wild.”

More than two minutes later, an update: “They’re going crazy, squad. We need cars!”

A supervisor at the scene slowed down the police response shortly after 3 a.m, saying the situation was better, but there were “still pockets of fighting.”

Bottles were being thrown several minutes after that, an officer said.

Among those who heard the radio transmissions was Tunney, who has represented the Boystown neighborhood and much of Lakeview for nearly 20 years.

“I listened to the numerous radio calls from the 019th District officers asking for assistance from officers from other districts to control unruly groups of individuals following the Pride Fest and, based on that situation, am concerned that the ongoing issues with understaffing will make the Pride Parade unsafe for participants, spectators, and, importantly, our police officers, many of whom I understand will have been working more than a week without a day off to rest up and recharge,” Tunney told Brown in a letter.

Tunney said he is “deeply concerned that the current staffing plans for the Pride Parade as outlined to me are insufficient for the size of the crowds the City realistically should be anticipating.”

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