Updated 6/6/2011 at 9:45 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — As concerns mount about youth-mob attacks in the trendy Streeterville neighborhood, the University of Illinois at Chicago is now reporting a similar attack on the city’s Near West Side.
Just after midnight Sunday morning, a male UIC student was on a westbound No. 12 CTA bus on Roosevelt Road at Throop Street, when a group of eight to 10 men wearing white T-shirts boarded, UIC police said. One of the men hit the victim on the back of the head with a glass bottle and stole his iPad. Then the robbers got off the bus.
The bus driver called police, who responded to the scene, while the victim was taken to the UIC Medical Center for treatment.
UIC police say surveillance video may be available, and Harrison Area Chicago Police detectives will conduct an investigation. Anyone with information is asked to call UIC police at (312) 996-2830.
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The news of the attack near UIC comes in the wake of at least two mob-style attacks a few miles to the northeast in Streeterville. One man was beaten by a mob of 15 to 20 teens in the 300 block of East Chicago Avenue Saturday evening, while another man was attacked while riding his bicycle on the lakefront path at 701 N. Lake Shore Dr.
At least five teens have been arrested in the incidents, and three have been charged as adults.
Chicago’s new top cop says he’s concerned the mob incidents could become an epidemic.
“I am concerned, and I’m concerned about how quickly we can make arrests and turn these things around,” Acting Police Supt. Garry McCarthy told CBS 2’s Mike Parker.
“In crime you’ll see trends like this pop up,” he said. “It’s almost like a fashionable crime. People commit this crime and the way that we address it is, we lock everybody up and we break the trend.”
In another sign of public concern, the “PAWS” animal rescue group has cancelled its pet adoption event scheduled for Sunday at Michigan Avenue and Oak Street. PAWS officials say there are safety concerns because of “unpredictable crowds and weather conditions.”