(CBS) — Having a nice park nearby is usually a good thing, right?
Well people in one Near West Side neighborhood say that’s not the case for them.
As CBS 2’s Mai Martinez reports, that’s because they say the Touhy-Herbert Park has become party central for gang members.
A new day, a new mess — that’s been the story at Touhy-Herbert Park for most of this summer, and it’s keeping Chicago Park District crews busy.
Neighbors say gang members and their associates party all night at the park.
Dewayne Jefferson says crowds can swell quickly from a few people to 100.
“I’m not gonna go out there and confront a hundred guys,” he says.
He’s not alone. One woman who asked not to be identified says sometimes she feels like a prisoner in her home.
“There are many times that they blocked the street because there are so many people, so many people,” she says.
She and others have repeatedly called 9-1-1 to alert the Chicago Police Department.
“Even when CPD comes by, they just look at them, and they laugh at them, and CPD just drives by,” she says.
Neighbors say when the crowds leave litter is everywhere in the park and on the streets, including dozens of drug baggies.
George Maldonado is new to the neighborhood and had no idea there was a problem until after he bought his condo. He’s hoping things will get better soon.
“This is where we live. This is where we’re investing our money and our time,” he says.
A spokesperson for Chicago Police says the commander of the 12th District is planning to meet with members of the community to address their concerns about the park.
A spokesperson for the Park District says the park is usually cleaned three days a week, but this summer it’s been more like five days a week.
The park officially closes at 11 p.m. Any activity after that should be reported to police.