CHICAGO (CBS) — CBS 2 is always investigating, and on Monday night, we dug into the shooting of a man on a party bus in the East Garfield Park neighborhood.
The shooting occurred over the weekend. And as CBS 2’s Tara Molina reported – it never should have happened, because party buses are banned under the city and state’s COVID-19 pandemic rules.READ MORE: Chicago Weather: Overnight Storm Threat
The 25-year-old man was shot in the hip while riding in the bus around 1 a.m. Sunday near Van Buren Street and Washtenaw Avenue. The party bus stopped at the site because of the shooting, with a group of 14 people inside that city officials said never should have been able to gather in the first place.
The man was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital, where his condition was stabilized.
Liquor bottles were found on the party bus, a gun was found on the ground outside of it.
Party buses are banned by the state’s Tier 3 COVID-19 mitigation plan, which is in place with other city regulations.
So we went to the company that rented out the party bus.
Muhammad Tariq, in charge of public relations at M&M Limousine Services, said they had no idea there was a ban on party buses.
“How are we supposed to know as a business that we’re not supposed to do something if no one tells us?” Tariq said. “Usually, we’re supposed to get some kind of information in writing that, ‘Hey, you’re not supposed to operate.’”
Tariq said the group on the party bus where the shooting happened was picked up in Berwyn for a “drive-around.”
“We asked if everyone is going to be from the same household, and they said yes,” he said.
He said the group technically didn’t rent the bus – they reserved a van.
“To give them some social distancing room, we upgraded them to a 29-passenger bus,” Tariq said.READ MORE: Chicago Lead Water Pipe Replacement Program Hasn't Started, But It's Already Being Expanded
A spokesperson for Chicago’s Office of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection released the following statement:
“BACP was notified by CPD of an incident on a party bus early in the morning of January 10, 2021. In addition to COVID mitigation measures, which prohibit party bus activity statewide, all party buses that operate in the City of Chicago have strict laws they need to follow, including the requirement to have a security guard on board. This matter remains under investigation. If the business is found to have violated COVID and/or licensing regulations they may face consequences, including citations.”
BACP said M&M Limousine Services was cited on Oct. 23 for not wearing masks, not providing an itinerary, and not having a security guard present when there was alcohol onboard.
But BACP did confirm only party buses are banned, not limos or vans.
Tariq said that has caused confusion.
“We’re going to give the city a call and see how we can operate safely and legally, and we are going to follow and abide by these rules, 100 percent.”
Chicago Police arrested two men in connection to the early Sunday shooting.
With regard to Tariq’s comment about getting information in writing about something not being allowed under pandemic restrictions, the BACP spokesperson said:
“We’ve communicated regularly with all Chicago businesses regarding the COVID-19 regulations through emails to 50,000 contacts, numerous webinars and phone calls directly to thousands of businesses. Ultimately, it is the business’s responsibility to know and follow the regulations, but at least on the City level we have done a lot of communication and outreach to businesses to make sure they know the rules.”
BACP said if they find M&M Limousine Services violated COVID regulations, they can be ticketed.
Tier 3 mitigation Measures for the state can be found here. Regulations for the city appear below.MORE NEWS: With COVID On Rise, Some Bars Are Willing To Require Proof Of Vaccinations To Avoid Another Shutdown
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