Supt. McCarthy: Gang Activity Didn’t Close Beach

CHICAGO (WBBM/CBS) — Mayor Rahm Emanuel made an unscheduled appearance at police headquarters Wednesday, and reporters wanted to know whether it was really flash mob gang activity – not cases of heat exhaustion – that closed North Avenue Beach earlier this week.

The purpose of the news conference was for Acting Police Supt. Garry McCarthy to introduce his No. 2 man, First Deputy Supt. Al Wysinger, who had been deputy chief of detectives.

McCarthy said gang activity had nothing to do with the decision to close the beach on Memorial Day.

“No, that’s not what happened,” he said. “The folks who showed up at North Avenue, to what I was informed of, were suburbanites who were coming to the beach to enjoy a nice day. It was simply an overcrowding situation.”

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Mike Krauser reports

The announcement about a safety-related closure came over the public-address system shortly after 6 p.m. Monday. A firefighting crew sprayed crowds with a mist of water from a 2 1/2-inch hose as beach-goers made their way from the lakefront.

Mayor Emanuel said Tuesday that the closure was about public health and public safety. He said police had to shut down the beach “so the paramedics could do what they needed to do,” given the number of calls for heat exhaustion.

In all, four people were rushed to area hospitals. One was even listed in critical condition.

But people who were at the beach said there were roving groups of menacing young people dressed in gang members’ choice of clothing – oversize white T-shirts and pants hanging down.

But McCarthy insisted there was no gang activity.

Violent flash mobs have been a concern at North Avenue Beach previously.

In April at the beach, sources say a group of about 100 teens surrounded two people on bikes. Both were knocked off their bikes and thrown into Lake Michigan.

  • Gil Lake

    Why is this closing such a big news story? I haven’t heard anyone voice concern about the closing. Why does the city have to explain anything?

    • larry

      Precisely why the closing is such a big deal, is this………….you must divert attention in any way, shape, or form away from the CPD. Their issues are about 12 months away from chaos. MARK MY WORDS ()()()()()()()() FYI________ the downtown beaches are NOT safe…….

      • Lee

        Larry I agree with you. Downtown Chicago (period) has gone ridiculous and everyone knows why but no one wants to admit what it is. It’s time out for being political correct. Nothing can be accomplished when beating around the bush.

    • Lee

      Gil, I believe the only reason why this story is a big deal is because people want to know the truth, if there were really some issues with flash mobs and gang activity. In this case the surrounding communities and the city in general will know to be more cautious in this area.


        Mayor Rahm Emanuel made an unscheduled appearance at police “peadquarters” Wednesday – everybody must be pead off…

        The last time urbanites were sprayed with water was back in Atlanta in the 60’s

  • john

    Rahm could’t locate a street gang with both hands… even if it was tattooed to his backside.

    • Legato

      Rahm would not know a moose charging toward him, until it hits him.

  • g-man

    Thats right blame them white suburbanites for everything wrong them other “kids” walking around acting the fool

  • west town dude

    liar liar, pants on fire…..the new police super is already lying to cover up the truth. how sad

    • Mr. Justice

      I agree with you. The media works hand in hand with these puking liberals. There are all a bunch of liars.

  • Hi I'm Barb

    Oh that’s refreshing — the top CPD cop doesn’t know what “GANG ACTIVITY” means. No wonder why this city is a crime $hithole.

    • Legato

      The best way to solve a problem. Is to identify that problem. Don’t deny the problem. Chicago is in for a very long four years with Rahm Emanuel as mayor. Not even a word from one city council member.

  • bob

    Chicago is a RATHOLE. When you visit the city, there’s a chance you won’t be going home. Why do you think the Olympic committee turned down Chicago first? The Archery was going to be held down the street from Englewood, the most dangerous, violent city in the US. Imagine people from other countries straying away from the Olympic venue into Englewood at night or day. Well, you know the story.

    No surprise they had to close the beach. Who wants to encounter a gang mob?

    • Gerald Spencer

      You stupid freaking tool. Brasilian expatriates, living in Chicago, hired a down town organizer to create Chicagoans against the Olympics, he succeeded. The dork lives down the street from me. Per capita, the suburbs have as much crime as any major city, and infinitely more meth labs.

      • The Truth

        Yeah dude, you’re just in denial if you think Chicago is a safe city. Don’t make this into a suburb vs. chicago thing. It ain’t. The reality is that Chicago violent crimes and property crimes are skyrocketing disproportionately with other major metropolitan areas. A huge part of the problem is that the Chicago Police aren’t worth their paychecks. Sure, they’ll show up if you call 911, but don’t expect much work after they clear the scene. No investigation, no arrests, no follow up, and no concern for safety. And yes, I live in Chicago. You’re also out of your mind if you think that some knucklehead Brazilian passing out flyers at the Daley Center was the reason we didn’t get the Olympics. It was probably more politics than anything, plus the fact that everyone knows Chicago is just a corrupt cesspool. They knew that they would get sucked dry by the City once they signed on the dotted line. No thanks.

      • srdib

        and where do you live? fantasy island? how many murders happened in the suburbs over the weekend? shootings? now what about in the city. someone does not know what they are talking about.

  • srdib

    i guess it only got hot at the north ave beach?. great first impression this goof is making, lying to the public right off the bat, way to go.

  • Say What

    Solve the problem?Just don’t go downtown or to the beaches,until the city solves the problem.

  • Larry

    This cop should have simply remained reticent on this whole issue because now nobody is going to believe anything he says. Who does he think he’s fooling? Nobody!

  • jake

    Just the ramster over reacting to a cub loss.

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