1 arrested as fights break out in late-night Boystown crowd

CHICAGO — Pride Parade weekend got off to a raucous start in Boystown overnight, with widespread fights reported as hundreds of revelers gathered in and on Halsted Street early Saturday. One man was arrested and charged with a felony for allegedly battering a cop who was trying to break up a fight.

Crowds grew through the night, with celebrants dancing and twerking on the Boystown strip.

Moments of the festivities were captured by Snapchat users:

But it went sideways around 2:40 a.m. when the fun turned into fights.

Officers at the scene reported “hundreds of people” lining both sides of Halsted Street near Roscoe Street. Chicago police supervisors called in extra resources from the Town Hall District to contain the problems.

“When we pulled up, they were saying, ‘Get the cops! Get the cops!” one officer radioed.

The fighting continued, with a storefront window being broken out in the 3400 block of North Halsted. For a while, the crowd blocked traffic and danced on cars, witnesses told CWBChicago.

No serious injuries were reported.

Vlk

Police arrested 28-year-old Andrew Vlk during the dust-ups. During his bail hearing on Saturday, prosecutors said Vlk pushed a bike officer twice as the cop tried to stop two women from fighting outside a bar.

Vlk repeatedly kicked the officer in the legs as he was placed in a squad car, prosecutors said, adding that he “appeared intoxicated throughout” the incident.

His public defender said during the hearing that he lives with his fiancé, has three children, and works as a truck driver.

Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $2,000. He must post 10% of that to get out of jail.

The Pride Parade, which begins at noon Sunday, has sparked fewer arrests in recent years. Chicago police arrested 26 people during and after the parade last year. Most of those arrests occurred during the after-hours street party that followed the parade. That’s down from 52 arrests in 2015.

Three people were shot at the intersection of Halsted and Clark streets during last year’s after-party. Police said another three people were stabbed in unrelated incidents.

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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