(Above) Aerial view of Michigan Avenue from John Hancock Center.
22-Jan-19 The teens and young adults arrive at CTA stations in River North but end up in nearby Streeterville, where fights break out, people are assaulted, and stores along the Magnificent Mile are robbed.
The latest incidents occurred on December 29. Between 5:00 p.m. and 7:12 p.m., as many as 60 people were involved in assaults of CTA riders, fights among themselves, shoplifting at a Mag Mile store, and disturbances at Water Tower Place.
Streeterville Organization of Active Residents has had enough, urging city officials to send more police officers to their neighborhood.
Additional enforcement is imperative, says SOAR in a letter sent on Monday to 2nd Ward Alderman Brian Hopkins, 42nd Ward Alderman Brendan Reilly, and 18th police district commander Daniel OShea.
The activities of these young adults have caused significant concern for SOAR membership and others with a vested interest in Streeterville. While the spring and summer months have been the most detrimental to our community, criminal activity has occurred almost any night of the year.
The 800-member organization has noted the teens and young adults have mastered the use of social media to coordinate their plans and such efforts, says SOAR, seem to have outpaced the citys ability to maintain a safe environment.
Criminal activity, according to the organization, has affected not only residents of Streeterville but also students, employees of major medical institutions, customers of commercial businesses, and tourists. They have seen the activity spread past Michigan Avenue to Navy Pier and nearby parks and beaches.
(Left) Frame from video by Vashon Jordan Jr. of a CTA Red Line train on December 29, 2018.
SOAR says it wants to meet with Hopkins, Reilly, OShea, and representatives of Chicago Police Departments public transit unit to discuss the situation and begin planning before more incidents occur.
They also suggest police explore better monitoring of social media and increase its presence at nearby CTA stations during peak travel times.
Another idea is for SOAR to begin a dialog with community leaders from neighborhoods where the offending teens and young adults live.
Perhaps an open dialog between community leaders and government officials can be a beneficial step to help to resolve these ongoing problems, says SOAR.
Five people have been arrested so far in the December 29 incidents. Among the victims was a 28-year-old man who suffered broken bones, a fractured eye socket, abrasions, and other injuries as he was punched and kicked by a large group at the CTA Red Line station at State & Chicago.