Mayor Calls Taste ‘Safest In Recent Memory’

CHICAGO (CBS) The streets around Grant Park are open again today after crews finished cleaning up from the 10-day Taste of Chicago.

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports, Mayor Rahm Emanuel is saying the extra safety precautions taken this year appear to have worked.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Regine Schlesinger reports

“I commend the City’s public safety agencies and employees for their efforts to make this year’s event the safest in recent memory,” he said in a statement.

Emanuel commended the city’s public safety agencies for keeping the festival safe. There were nearly 50 percent fewer arrests this year, and none involving illegal weapons.

Park District Supt. Michael Kelly agreed that the Taste was a success from the public safety perspective.

“It’s gone great. The police tell me this is one of the lowest incidents they’ve ever had,” Kelly said over the weekend. “Eleven days ago we were sitting and someone raised flash mobs. Now all we’re talking about is family-friendly, mission accomplished. This has been a great success for us and the Chicago Police Department.”

In 2008, four people were shot – and one of them died – while leaving the Taste of Chicago and the fireworks show, but nothing remotely like that happened this year.

This was the first Taste of Chicago run by the Chicago Park District rather than the Mayor’s Office of Special Events – now known as the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events.

This year’s attendance numbers are not yet in. The Taste last year, which was the first without the July 3 Fireworks Extravaganza, drew some 700,000 fewer people than the more than 3.3 million who came the year before.

But we do know that those who came consumed 120,000 turkey legs, 57,500 chicken wings, and 50,000 slices of Eli’s Cheesecake.

  • tom Sharp

    Unfortunately, from the blogs here, it was one of the few places that were “safe.” But let’s not mention those Rahm.

    CHICAGO (STMW) — It was a violent holiday weekend in Chicago, with five men dead and at least another 23 people wounded in shootings and stabbings throughout the city since Friday afternoon. The homicide victims were men who ranged in age from 19 to 25 years old.

    The homicides include these incidents:

    • About 2:30 p.m. Friday, police found a 21-year-old man — identified by the Cook County Medical Examiner’s office as David Cardine — unresponsive in a van in the 1300 block of South Independence Boulevard, police News Affairs Officer Daniel O’Brien said.

    Cardine, of 28 N. Chase Ave. in Lombard, was pronounced dead at 3:05 p.m. at Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

    • About 11:15 p.m. Friday, a male shot two men in the 1300 block of West Hastings Street and fled south on foot, police said.

    One of the men — identified by the medical examiner’s office as Javone Oliphant — was shot multiple times, police said. The other man, 23, was shot in the buttocks and both legs and was treated and released from John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County.

    Oliphant, of 5011 W. Maypole Ave., was pronounced dead at 12:09 a.m. Saturday at Stroger Hospital, the medical examiner’s office said.

    • A man and woman sitting in a vehicle in the 8500 block of South Givins Court were shot about 5:25 a.m. Saturday, police News Affairs Officer John Mirabelli said.

    The man was identified as Charles Bell, 25, of 15727 Turlington Ave. in Harvey, and was pronounced dead at St. Bernard Hospital and Health Center at 6:15 a.m. Saturday, according to the medical examiner’s office.

    A 34-year-old woman was taken in an unidentified condition to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn, police said.

    • About 8:50 a.m. Saturday, a man in his 20s was shot to death in a street in the Little Village neighborhood after exchanging some words with the driver of a van.

    The victim was crossing the street at South Karlov Avenue and West 30th Street when he and the driver of a van exchanged words, Mirabelli said.

    The driver of the van then shot the man in the head, Mirabelli said.

    The man — identified as Jose Moldonado, 22, of 3123 S. Kedvale Ave., was dead on the scene, according to the medical examiner’s office.

    • A man was fatally shot in the 6400 block of South Wolcott Avenue at 7:10 p.m. Sunday, police News Affairs Officer Veejay Zala said.

    The man — identified as Ricardo Hall, 30, of 7914 S. Honore St.– suffered a gunshot wound to the neck and was pronounced dead at 7:36 p.m. Sunday at Mount Sinai Hospital, according to the medical examiner’s office.

    Several other violent incidents did not result in deaths:

    • About 6:05 p.m. Friday, an 18-year-old man was shot in the 4000 block of West West End Avenue, police said. Prior to the shooting, the man was arguing about money with the gunman.

    The man was taken in “stable” condition to Mount Sinai Hospital with gunshot wounds to both legs, police said.

    • About 7 p.m. Friday, a 22-year-old man standing on a corner in the 7700 block of South Essex Avenue ran when he heard gunshots, but still was shot in the leg, police said. He was taken in good condition to South Shore Hospital.

    • About an hour later, an 18-year-old man standing in a driveway in the 1400 block of West 61st Street was shot in the back and taken to Stroger Hospital in serious condition, police said.

    • An 18-year-old man standing with a “large” group of people in the 6500 block of South Campbell Avenue was shot by a gunman on a bike about 8:35 p.m. Friday, police said. He was taken in “stable” condition to Christ Medical Center.

    • About 10:05 p.m. Friday, a man in his 20s was shot in the 3100 block of South Kedvale Avenue, police News Affairs Officer Ronald Gaines said.

    • About 10 minutes later, a 17-year-old boy was standing in the street in the 1800 block of South Allport Street when a male passenger in a sport-utility vehicle yelled gang slogans and shot him, police said.

    The boy was taken to Stroger Hospital in serious condition with gunshot wounds to the head and back, police said.

    • Just before noon Saturday a young man was shot near a South Side alley.

    The shooting occurred near in an alley on the 1300 block of West 81st Street, Mirabelli said.

    The victim, who was believed to be between 16 and 25 years old, suffered a gunshot wound to his right side, police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety said. He was taken to Christ Medical Center in an unidentified condition, though according to preliminary information his condition was “stable,” Mirabelli said.

    • A 28-year-old man was shot in the ankle about 11:10 p.m. Saturday in the 7600 block of South Marquette Avenue and was taken in good condition to Jackson Park Hospital, police said.

    • About 11:40 p.m. Saturday, a 24-year-old man was shot multiple times in the 3400 block of West Chicago Avenue, police said.

    The man was initially taken in critical condition to Loretto Hospital and was transferred to Mount Sinai Hospital, police said.

    • About 1 a.m. Sunday, a 20-year-old man was shot in the shoulder and taken to a local hospital in good condition after the car he was riding in was chased by another near East 87th Street and South Stony Island Avenue.

    The two cars were going west on 87th Street when the car being chased attempted to turn onto Stony Island, Mirabelli said. At that point a third vehicle, which was not involved in the chase, crashed into the car being chased.

    The occupants of the car chasing that car then got out, approached the car they were chasing, and opened fire, wounding the victim.

    • At 6:15 p.m. Sunday, a 26-year-old man was walking in the 6300 block of South Carpenter Street when he was approached by an assailant who displayed a gun, opened fire and fled the scene, according to police. He was taken in “stable” condition to Stroger Hospital with two gunshot wounds to the body.

    • At 8:25 p.m. Sunday, a 26-year-old man was shot in the head in the 0-100 block of East 119th Street, Zala said.

    The man was taken in critical condition to Christ Medical Center, Fire Media Affairs spokesman Richard Rosado said

    • A man walked into a South Side hospital Sunday evening with gunshot wounds to the elbow and side, police said.

    He told police shooting happened about 7:40 p.m. Sunday in the 6300 block of South St. Lawrence Avenue when someone approached and opened fire. He was able to drive himself to University of Chicago Medical Center, where he was treated for the gunshot wounds, police said.

    • About 7:45 p.m. Sunday, a man and woman were wounded during a drive-by shooting. A vehicle was stopped in traffic in the 7100 block of South Greenwood Avenue when another vehicle pulled alongside and someone inside opened fire, according to a police. The second vehicle, of an unknown make and model, then fled the scene.

    A 21-year-old man was shot in the right leg and a 19-year-old woman was shot in the buttocks, police said. Both were taken in “stable” condition to Stroger Hospital.

    • A man drove himself to a hospital late Sunday after he was shot while grabbing the gun from a man who was trying to rob him on the South Side.

    The 33-year-old man was parked in a vehicle in the 7100 block of South Wentworth Avenue about 11:15 p.m. Sunday when a man approached with a handgun and demanded money, police News Affairs Officer Hector Alfaro said.

    The gunman opened fire when the man in the car reached for the weapon, police said. The gunman then fled the scene and the man in the vehicle — who was shot in the forearm — drove himself to Mercy Hospital and Medical Center, where he was listed in good condition, according to police.

    • About 11:55 p.m. Sunday a 25-year-old man was stabbed during a fight on a Lake View street late Sunday.

    The victim was involved in a physical altercation on the 3300 block of North Halsted Street when he was stabbed, police News Affairs Officer Darryl Baety said.

    The victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in good condition, according to police.

    • A 21-year-old woman was critically injured in a shooting early Monday on the West Side. She was standing in the 4800 block of West Augusta Boulevard when someone inside a light-colored vehicle opened fire at 12:54 a.m. Monday, police said. She was shot multiple times in the back and side and was taken to Stroger Hospital in critical condition, police said.

    • About 5:02 a.m. Monday a man was stabbed on the West Side. The victim, whose age was unknown, was stabbed on the 4000 block of West Roosevelt Road, Baety said. He was taken to Mount Sinai Hospital in an unspecified condition.

    • About 3:20 p.m. Monday, a 20-year-old man was shot in the shoulder in the 9700 block of South Merrion Avenue, police said. He was taken in good condition to Advocate Trinity Hospital, police said.

    • Monday afternoon, an 18-year-old man was wounded in a shooting in the South Side Back of the Yards neighborhood.

    The man was shot at 3:37 p.m. in the 4800 block of South Damen Avenue, Zala said.

    The man was taken in serious to critical condition to Mount Sinai Hospital, Fire Media Affairs Cmdr. Will Knight said. The shooting may have been a drive-by, said Zala, citing preliminary information.

    Chicago Police detectives are investigating, but they have not announced any arrests or charges related to any of the incidents.

    (Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2010. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

    Add a comment to this post

  • Darlene

    They have to over-protect the showcase events with an over-abundance of police.

    Taste of Chicago should end permanently. It’s become a real burden.

  • Larry

    “The Taste last year drew some $700,000 fewer people than the more than $3.3 million who came the year before.”

    Why in the world, when you’re referring to people, do you put dollar signs in front of the number? Who writes this stuff? Who is editing this stuff? It’s unbelievable. People are paid to make such egregious mistakes? Wow.

    Oh, and Rahm will never tell the truth. The Taste was safer this year because they shut it down early every night, they didn’t hold it on the biggest day of the fest (the 4th) and because most city folks who don’t live in the hood will never go to it anymore.

  • Native Chicagoan

    The Taste is a money maker and a way to showcase the city during the summer. Stop the whining. If the police had not been there you’d be b*itchin if something bad had happened. Either way Rahm loses in your sore eyes. Here’s some ray of intelligent light for you whiners to ponder in the dark,:nothing will please you, you are a miserable human being and as dumb as the mob derelicts.

  • Larry

    Native Chicagoan, please stop whining about people exposing the lies and half truths of Rahm and McCarthy. I’m actually surprised you didn’t whine about there being a shortage of police. Stick to the facts, crybaby.

  • Get Over It

    And you, Larry, honestly think that if the police were not “burdened” with the Taste that it would have prevented thugs on the South and West sides from shooting each other this past weekend??? Like it or not the Taste brings people in from out of the city to spend their money here. If you don’t think that’s a good idea then you should just leave Chicago altogether.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Weather Reports Delivered To You!SIGN UP NOW: Get daily weather reports every morning from meteorologist Steve Baskerville!
CBS Sports Radio RoundupGet your latest sports talk from across the country.

Listen Live