CHICAGO (CBS) — Momentum is growing to shut down a children’s play place in the northwest suburbs after police were called for a brawl over the weekend. Go Bananas is facing a fire code violation, after the emergency exit door failed to open as customers inside the facility tried to escape to safety. The incident was not the first time police were called to Go Bananas.
CBS 2’s Lauren Victory looked into police records and found dozens of incidents over the past three years. No arrests were made in most of the cases, including the brawl on Saturday, but the owner is on thin ice with police.READ MORE: Federal Disaster Team Coming To UChicago Medicine's Ingalls Memorial Hospital Amid COVID Surge; Nurse Says It's Needed, But Not Long-Term Fix
Inside Go Bananas, chairs were thrown and garbage cans flew through the air during an adult brawl caught on video at a children’s birthday party. Benjamin Bologna was in the play center at the time of the incident and says he tried to flee.
That made us think, ‘Okay, we don’t want to be caught in the crossfire of this,’” 14-year-old Benjamin Bologna said, claiming he could not escape the Norridge birthday brawl. “The door would not budge.”
One of the emergency doors would not open, forcing him and his friends to run through the chaos to the front entrance.
“We were very scared at that point,” Bologna recalled.
Fire investigators released pictures of the faulty back door, telling CBS 2 it was rusty and difficult for even a grown adult to open. Go Bananas is facing a fire code violation.
Mounds of records from Norridge Police show that it was hardly the only issue at Go Bananas.
There is a history of 39 calls for service in a two and a half year period. One case involved slapping, pushing, and tire slashing. Another dispute led to pushing and an attack by several people. The next day, more arguments ended with a fist to the face, according to police documents.READ MORE: AT&T And Verizon Delay Rollout Of New 5G Service Near O'Hare, Midway, Other Airports After Airlines Warn Of Delays
Police gave the information to Norridge’s mayor, who tells CBS 2 Go Banana’s future is uncertain. While he looks at legal option to possibly revoke its business license, he says developers of the plaza where Go Bananas operates are reviewing the lease.
Bologna and his parents are among the 4,500 people who’ve signed an online petition to shut down the business.
“It didn’t really, I guess, set in until after we were out of there that like, ‘Whoa, this was actually a really dangerous situation,’” Bologna said.
The developers, Harlem Irving and Hamilton Partners, did not want to comment on this story. The owner of Go Bananas also did not respond to requests for comments.
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