Police Clear High School Football Stadium After Disturbance
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UPDATED 09/08/12 11:33 a.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) – Police descended on Gately Stadium on the Far South Side Friday night, after a fight in the stands led to a mass-panic and halted a football game between Simeon and Morgan Park high schools in the third quarter.
CBS 2’s Mike Parker reports it was a wild scene and a wild scare in the stands at the stadium, at 103rd Street and Stony Island Avenue. Hundreds of people were engulfed in panic.
CBS 2 saw perhaps 400 to 500 people running to get out of the stands on the east side of the stadium. They were shouting and screaming.
Some fans shouted that they’d heard there were gunshots. Others screamed that some people had been trampled.
Within minutes, scores of Chicago Police officers descended on the stadium, and both football teams left the field. Police and Public League security cleared all the fans from the stadium.
One group of cheerleaders was seen huddled together in the center of the field, before they were escorted out of the stadium.
The fears about what happened turned out largely to be false alarms. Police later said there were no gunshots, and there was apparently just a fight in the stands.
Instead, there apparently was a fight in the stands, and someone may have thought he or she saw a gun, prompting the chaos.
Also, nobody was trampled. But Fire Media Affairs reported to the Sun-Times Media Wire that a male was transported from the stadium with a stab wound. He was taken to Roseland Community Hospital.
What apparently erupted at the stadium, Parker reported, was an almost electric reaction to perceived danger by a huge crowd that lives in a community that is plagued by gun violence.
During the height of the panic and pandemonium, one young cheerleader took refuge in CBS 2’s truck, saying, “You’ve got to save my life.”
Parker and his CBS 2 crew had been on the scene for an unrelated story.
Simeon led Morgan Park 6-0 when the game was suspended, with 10:27 left to play in the third quarter.
The game will be replayed at Gately Stadium on Sunday, but there will be no fans. It will be played to an empty stadium.