Yesterday, about 400 people gathered at an unpermitted large-scale event at North Avenue Beach. The event was anonymously promoted via social media and encouraged people to bring their own alcohol and drugs. The event advertising said it was open to all ages and would feature a drinking contest, boxing matches, and twerking contests. This promoted event was unpermitted by the City and the Park District.
Police received advance warning of the event and placed extensive resources at every entrance to the beach, including the pedestrian bridge. This was in order to give police an opportunity to search for liquor and any other illegal items. Police recovered a significant amount of alcohol. Police also prevented any car caravans from loitering at the entrances to the beach.
Party attendees generally ranged from 14 to 21 years of age. An estimated 400 people came to the beach, and while almost all the liquor was removed the group still engaged in many illegal activities including climbing the lifeguard towers, and climbing on CTA buses. This resulted in situations where injuries were probable and the police acted to ensure the well-being of all involved was protected.
In order to prevent injuries, the police initiated a process to direct people to leave the beach. As the group dispersed, residents observed gatherings at local gas stations and other businesses. In all cases, no one was hurt, and very few arrests were necessary. The area was cleared between 11 p.m. and midnight.
We want to thank the Chicago Police and 18th District Commander Jon Hein for their handling of what could have been a tense situation.
I am requesting that the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection, and the Chicago Park District work with the Chicago Police to bring appropriate legal action against the organizers for an illegal gathering which endangered many people.
The 43rd Ward hosts hundreds of events every year. We do so in a manner that is safe and secure for participants and residents. The 18th District's prompt and professional handling of this has sent a message that we will not tolerate unruly or unsanctioned behavior in our community. If you become aware of any events, such as this, occurring in our community please make the Chicago Police aware immediately.