3 charged with launching fireworks at Chicago police during drag racing “sideshow” in the Loop

Three Calumet City residents have been charged with felonies for launching fireworks at Chicago police vehicles during a car “sideshow” in the Loop early on the Fourth of July, according to a CPD media statement.

Left to right: Jiovanni Arujo, Guillermo Mota Jr, and Yair Cruz-Roman | CPD

All three 19-year-olds, Jiovanni Araujo, Yair Cruz-Roman, and Guillermo Mota Jr., will be in bond court Tuesday.

They were arrested separately near Wacker Drive and Michigan Avenue as a large crowd of people closed down the streets so drag racers—more precisely, “drifters”—could perform donuts in the intersections.

Police said they were identified as some of the people who launched fireworks at officers who were trying to clear the area. Some of the action was captured on video.

Araujo, who was arrested in the 200 block of North Michigan, is charged with two counts of aggravated battery of police, two counts of aggravated assault of police, and criminal damage to government property, which are all felonies.

Cruz-Roman, arrested in the 200 block of East Wacker, is charged with two felony counts of aggravated assault of police and an ordinance violation for failure to disperse.

Mota is charged with two counts of felony aggravated assault of police and misdemeanor reckless conduct. He was arrested in the 100 block of East South Water.

The Loop incident is one of at least four similar disturbances across the city this weekend in which sideshow crowds damaged police squad cars and sometimes injured officers as CPD tried to disperse the groups.

An Illinois State Police squad car was trampled by a crowd after a trooper encountered a sideshow near the Division Street bridge at Goose Island early Sunday. Chicago police sent units from two nearby districts to help disperse the crowd, which a supervisor said had grown to about 300 people. Officers said the group threw fireworks at them, too. CWBChicago posted the trooper’s dash cam video on Monday:

In other sideshow confrontations, crowds of people threw rocks and fireworks at Chicago police officers while others climbed onto occupied CPD squad cars as cops responded to disturbances on the city’s northwest and southwest sides early Sunday. Two officers received minor injuries, and three patrol cars were damaged, according to CPD reports. No arrests were made.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com