1 arrested amid large Old Town Chicago crowd gathered on North Side: CPD

CHICAGO (WLS) – Chicago police responded to a large crowd on North Avenue Beach Wednesday night after an event was promoted anonymously on social media, said Michele Smith, a councilwoman for the 43rd Ward.

More than 400 people flooded the area around 8:30 pm, blocking streets, getting on CTA buses and throwing bottles. CPD officers responded around 9 pm in the 1600 block of North LaSalle Drive, near Clark Street and North Avenue, and monitored as the group left the area.

RELATED: CPD arrests 10, including 8 minors, after large group seen gathering near Millennium Park in Loop

CPD said no injuries were reported, but Termaine Patterson, 18, of Chicago, was arrested around 11:25 pm in the 1700 block of North Clark and charged with reckless conduct. She tried to “cause bodily harm” to multiple people, CPD said.

VIDEO: Images show a large gathering in the old town

The neighbors saw everything from their buildings.

“The crowd was a bit unsettling for security just because we were worried maybe more would migrate that way. And we’ve had a break-in in our building before,” said Emma Kate Sterry, who lives nearby.

Councilman Smith’s office said in a statement that about 400 people attended an unauthorized event on North Avenue Beach. The event, promoted on social media, encouraged people to bring alcohol and drugs and that there would be “a drinking contest, boxing matches and twerking contests.”

“Illegal events that are run by promoters are bad for our city,” Smith said.

Numerous videos posted on social media of the incident showed a large group in the area around the North Side Old Town neighborhood.

“Skipping cars, motorcycle racing,” said Jonathan Swain. “Frankly, I was just waiting for the shots… It’s going to be a long hot summer if this is going to be the case.”

Smith said police had given advance notice of the event and officers checked beach entrances for alcohol. After police managed to disperse the crowd from the beach, Smith said people in the crowd began gathering at nearby gas stations and businesses. She said the officers did a good job clearing out the crowds. But Old Town Triangle Association Vice President Chris Nelson said more communication from police would have been appreciated.

“Great job to them for doing that. It would have been helpful if they also let the community know that they’re aware of this and that they’re up for it. I think that’s going really well,” Nelson said.

There is a community safety meeting in Old Town Thursday night at 7:00 p.m. Smith said he will be there and will ask the Chicago Park District and the Department of Special Events and Business Affairs to identify and take legal action against Wednesday’s organizers. evening event.

Full statement from Councilman Smith:
“Yesterday, about 400 people gathered at a large-scale, non-permitted event on North Avenue Beach. The event was advertised anonymously through social media and encouraged to bring their own alcohol and drugs. Advertising for the event said it was open to all ages and featured a drinking contest, boxing matches, and twerking contests This promoted event was not permitted by the City and Park District.

“The police received advance warning of the event and placed many resources at each entrance to the beach, including the pedestrian bridge. This was to give the police the opportunity to search for liquor and any other illegal items. The police recovered a significant amount of alcohol Police also prevented caravans of cars from loitering at the entrances to the beach.

“Partygoers were generally between the ages of 14 and 21. Approximately 400 people came to the beach and although almost all of the liquor was removed, the group still engaged in many illegal activities, such as climbing the lifeguard towers and climbing to CTA buses.This led to situations where injuries were likely and the police acted to ensure the protection of the welfare of all involved.

“To prevent injuries, the police initiated a process to order people to leave the beach. As the group dispersed, residents observed gatherings at local gas stations and other businesses. In all cases, no one was injured and they made very few arrests.The area was cleared between 11 pm and midnight.

We want to thank the Chicago police and 18th Precinct Commander Jon Hein for his handling of what could have been a tense situation.

“I am requesting that the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and the Chicago Park District work with Chicago Police to initiate appropriate legal action against the organizers of an illegal gathering that danger to many people.

“District 43 hosts hundreds of events each year. We do it in a way that is safe for participants and residents. District 18’s prompt and professional handling of this has sent a message that we will not tolerate unruly or unsanctioned behavior at our community. If you become aware of any events, such as this, occurring in our community, please notify Chicago Police immediately.”

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