CHICAGO (CBS)– Swarms of young people stormed Hyde Park on Halloween night, causing a ruckus as they smashed windshields, broke mirrors, lit off fireworks and jumped on cars on stretches of Kimbark, Kenwood and Ridgewood.
At least 18 cars were damaged on the 5400 block of South Ridgewood alone.
“I saw them jump on my car, and jump on just a whole bunch of other people’s cars as well. So it was like I wanted to do something, but it was like there is like 200 of them, so I’m going to just kind of chill,” said Nicholas Behzadi, whose car was one of those damaged.
The incident was not a surprise to community organizers who attempted to provide an alternative activity for teens.
A group called the Blue Gargoyle hosted a party called “Teen Halloween.” Some of the organizers say more resources are needed if the community wants to avoid another incident like what that happened on the street Wednesday night.
Cell phone video shows a crowd of young people stomping on cars and tossing firecrackers, while police officers trailed behind.
Aigars Jencs, a resident, said he felt police did not interact with or stop the teens.
“They were just standing by observing the damage being created,” Jencs said.
Some residents say police should have been more prepared since the same thing happened in 2016 when businesses were targeted. Rachel Cane and a group of volunteers say when they offered teens an alternative last year, a small street fest, problems were few.
They proposed another one this year, but their idea was rejected.
“Local officials made it clear there only objective was to protect the retail corridor,” Cane Said. “”And they had no strategy for dealing with the crowds that they would send away who would then be in residential areas.”
In an effort to offer alternative places for teens to hang out, Cane’s group hosted an event at the Promontory on 53rd instead, attracting about 300 youth with a DJ, free food and no incidents.
They hope to host the event again next year.
“We can’t be a society that says when you’re 12 you age out and all of a sudden we don’t care about you,” Ebony Lucas, a community organizer said.”In a statement Alderman Leslie Hairston said “Teens that are bored do not have an excuse for criminal activity.”
Hairston said social media will be used to let parents know the rowdy behavior that played out this Halloween won’t be tolerated again.