Monday, April 1, 2013

It's Spring! Time for the Wildings to Begin in Chicago.

I've posted before about the wildings happening on  the Magnificent Mile, in the heart of the tourist district.  Every summer it's been the same thing.  Groups of teens take the red line train up to the Chicago Avenue stop, get off, and head over to the Magnificent Mile to either rob the stores or hassle the tourists.  They plan this out via Twitter and other social media, so there are groups of tens or even hundreds of them.  As you can imagine, this can prove overwhelming if a group of them rush a store. 

We had our first day of 50 degreeish weather over the weekend, and to no one's surprise, this brought out the obnoxious, law breaking teenagers.  Normally it is difficult to find reports of this in the news, but this weekend was different.  It was all over the media.  Apparently there was chaos on Saturday night:
CBS 2 has learned about multiple incidents in at least four different locations along the Magnificent Mile and in the Gold Coast, yielding a slew of arrests. In all, 25 juveniles and three adults were charged.

Many innocent shoppers and tourists became caught in the middle of a very chaotic situation. Hundreds of teens littered Michigan Avenue and State Street near Chicago.

Things started turn bad around 6:00 p.m. Saturday, with teens purposely bumping into people, and causing fights among themselves.
And let's not forget about this poor woman who was attacked by a group of teenage girls while riding the red line train that same evening:
"This girl started blowing smoke in my face, and she flicked her cigarette ashes at me,'' said the woman, who asked not to be identified. "I said: 'You need to put that out,' and the next thing I know there's all these girls that jumped on top of us.''
They began punching her face and then went for her hair. She believes their attackers had knives or box cutters and padlocks possibly placed inside socks.

"I put my head down between my legs so they would stop beating me in the face, but they were trying to pull my face up and hit me more,'' she said. "They ripped out chunks of my hair, and I've got a black eye and bruises on my face, and all over my back and shoulder.''
This isn't happening in the middle of the night.  It's happening at 6 or 7 p.m. at a major tourist area of the city, where people are shopping, going to dinner, and trying to enjoy the city.  This is an incredibly crowded area.  It's really infuriating to me that this subset of people wants to destroy the city.  Chicago is a place where I feel very safe; but hearing about this begins to chip away at that.   

I imagine the Mayor is furious that this is being splashed all over the news.  It remains to be seen whether the arrests will quell any of the behavior.  I doubt it -- looks like we are in for a long summer.

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