CHICAGO (CBS) — A man on his bike was riding through a busy intersection right downtown this week, when he was suddenly surrounded, pushed, and then pulled off the bicycle.
The thief and his crew were gone in seconds. And on Thursday night, neighbors told CBS 2’s Jermont Terry it is a growing a problem in the heart of the Loop, and it is only getting worse.READ MORE: At Least 7 People Killed, 45 Wounded In Gun Violence In Chicago So Far This Weekend
It was a random attack on Wednesday night at Madison Street and Wabash Avenue. The Divvy bikes you see around town helped the crew get away.
Video shows the man being pulled down from his backpack, thrown to the ground, and kicked by one of the assailants. The attack blocked traffic.
“Yes, petty stuff is adding up to higher crime,” said Jason Quach.
Quach lives and works in the area. He talked to police detectives about what is considered an attack.
“I can’t believe it was happening right here,” Quach said, “and you know, what if that was me? What if that was someone I know?”
The assault involved up to seven people. The assailants were all on Divvy bikes, essentially waiting for someone to target.
When they spotted the victim on Madison Street, those on the Divvy bikes surrounded him, allowing one assailant without a bike to step in and attack – leaving the victim helpless.
“Worried, scared, you know, for the safety of the people around here,” Quach said.READ MORE: Man On Tracks Fatally Struck By UP-West Metra Train Near Oak Park
Quach said the corner of Madison Street and Wabash Avenue is a problem. Video shows large crowds gathering there, he said, every weekend.
“They would run in the middle of the street. They would jump on top of cars, or stand on cars, screaming, yelling. They would shove and push each other,” he said. “It seems dangerous these days.”
And he said often when police respond, little is done to keep the groups moving or control the rowdiness.
“Don’t feel safe walking around at night,” Quach said.
The scene is right on Jewelers Row, where plenty of security cameras are recording.
“I don’t think they even care,” Quach said. “They just want to get what they can and just take off. They don’t care about the camera. They don’t care about trying to blend in, or anything.”
Police did arrest one suspect soon afterward, on the stolen bike. But the others on the Divvy bikes have not been caught.
The victim was not seriously injured.MORE NEWS: Man With Gunshot Wounds Dies After Car Crashes Into House In Golden Gate
Businesses and nearby residents have asked for increased patrols.