CHICAGO (CBS) — Dozens of teens got off the Red Line at Chicago and State around 8 p.m. Saturday and began disturbing the peace, police say. Within two minutes two of the teens were arrested.

A 15-year-old girl and a 16-year-old boy were taken into custody after police say the group was causing a disturbance and blocking a sidewalk.

About 20 minutes later in the 800 block of North State Street, a 14-ear-old boy, who officers say was a part of the initial incident, was also arrested.

All three of the teens are being charged with misdemeanor counts of disorderly conduct.

This is not an unfamiliar situation to officers. In late April there were two separate occasions within days of each other when police dealt with hundreds of teens downtown starting trouble.

Nearly 40 arrests were made between the two incidents.

Ald. Brian Hopkins (2nd) told CBS 2 the group out Saturday was much smaller than the groups from April, but Mayor Lori Lightfoot still made an appearance at the scene Saturday night.

“Mayor Lightfoot did personally come out to observe what was happening last night,” Hopkins said. “She’s been very vocal about her expectations with the Chicago police. She wants to make sure that they’re doing their job, and they’re making arrests when they see laws being broken.”

“We welcome people to come and have a good time,” Hopkins said. “We just don’t want them to engage in the kind of criminal activity that we’ve seen in the past.

Incidents at Chicago and State are not uncommon.

In a two-on-one scuffle outside McDonald’s in April a security guard pulled out a gun, ending the confrontation.

So far in 2019 Chicago police have responded to a total of 200 incidents at the corner. At nearby Chicago and Clark police have been called out just 43 times.
At Clark and Division, where another Red Line stop is located, there have only been 92 incidents.

“I walk this way all the time, and I’ve never had an issue with the kids,” said Near North resident Deb Kubes. “I know we have a bad rap, but I live here and I’ve never felt unsafe.”

Hopkins said he isn’t only concerned about residents but also tourists.

“We monitor the European press, and we see incidents on Michigan Avenue will be covered in newspapers,” he said. “So we know that has an impact on tourism.”

The city said these incidents have not been hurting tourism, saying tourism is better than it’s ever been.

Last year a record 67.6 million people visited the city of Chicago. That’s a nearly 4% increase from 2017.

 

Eric Cox