Another large group of young people descended on Lakeview last night, dancing on squad cars, jumping on top of a CTA bus, and blocking the street as Chicago police once again summoned backup units from other districts to help contain it all.
“What’s going on,” a man asked an officer as CPD’s helicopter hovered overhead and blue lights flooded the intersection of Belmont and Clark.
“Same sh*t every night,” the cop replied, raising her hands in exasperation. Including Sunday’s Pride Parade afterparty, police have dealt with large crowd incidents in the immediate area three times in eight days.
According to information from Chicago police and sources, police arrested at least two people during the latest group gathering, which stretched well into this morning.
CTA trains were ordered to bypass Belmont to cut off the supply of partiers. Around midnight, CTA opened the turnstiles so passengers could board trains at the station without charge as cops tried to coax the crowd to leave. The enticement proved to be only mildly effective.
An officer first reported about 100 people gathering at the intersection of Belmont and Sheffield around 9:45 p.m. About 30 minutes later, an officer reported that the group was dancing on her squad car.
In video taken by Matt Stegman, people can be seen jumping and twerking on a CPD vehicle in front of the Ann Sather restaurant, 909 West Belmont, which is owned by a local Ald. Tom Tunney (44th). Watch:
A Town Hall (19th) District sergeant estimated that 200 to 300 “minors, juvies” were gathered and overtaking Belmont Avenue.
“We need more help, squad. That’s the bottom line here,” the sergeant pleaded at 11:15 p.m. Two minutes later, he declared a “10-1” police emergency as the crowd blocked and danced on a CTA bus in the middle of Belmont Avenue.
That incident was captured on video shared by the Citizen app:
Police arrested a woman for allegedly hitting an officer shortly after midnight. Earlier, a 45-year-old homeless man who has a history of impersonating police was arrested because he called 911 with a fake “10-1” police emergency at 10:15 p.m., about an hour before the real police declared their own emergency.
Around midnight., a couple wheeled luggage west on Belmont toward the Red Line station. A man walking in the opposite direction stopped them and suggested they find another way to get to their destination.
As of 4 a.m., a group of about 50 people remained in the area of Belmont and Sheffield, occasionally blocking traffic as they partied, an officer said.
“Tell ’em the train’s free,” a cop radioed sarcastically.
“Yeah. They know,” an officer replied.
One month ago, the City Council rolled back Chicago’s youth curfew to 10 p.m. and expanded it to include 17-year-olds after a teenager was shot and killed at Millennium Park.
Friday afternoon, CPD Supt. David Brown told a group of aldermen that there had not been an increase in curfew violations since the ordinance changed. He credited widespread compliance by the city’s young people as the reason more kids weren’t being cited.
Ald. Andre Vasquez (40th) countered that he believed the real reason citations weren’t being issued is because CPD wasn’t enforcing the ordinance.
Editor’s note: As police were handling Monday night’s crowd, a man walked in to Stroger Hospital for treatment of stab wounds. When officers arrived to speak with him more than four hours later, he reported that he received the injuries at the Belmont station Monday morning. We previously reported that he was injured Monday night.