CHICAGO — Some residents of Old Town are criticizing Chicago police after a massive party spilled onto neighborhood streets Wednesday night.
A large group of people, who police described as “youths,” gathered at the Shell station at North Avenue and LaSalle Drive around 9 p.m. Wednesday after being dispersed from North Avenue Beach by police.
Alarmed by what they witnessed, Old Town residents want assurance that the Chicago Police Department has a plan to prevent such chaotic scenes with summer ahead.
Many of them attended a safety meeting Thursday night, hosted by Old Town Triangle Association.
While many residents criticized police response, 43rd Ward Ald. Michelle Smith applauded police’s response.
About 400 young people flooded North Avenue Beach Wednesday evening for a party promoted on social media. Organizers did not have a permit and encouraged partygoers to bring their own alcohol.
After police broke up the party and cleared the beach, the crowd began spilling onto the streets in Old Town.
Residents said they watched from windows and balconies as people stopped traffic and danced on cars on Clark, LaSalle and North Avenue.
Termaine Patterson, 18, was arrested and charged with misdemeanor misconduct in the incident. Police said Patterson ignored commands and tried to cause bodily harm to several people, police said.
Many residents urged Chicago police to be proactive rather than reactive when they knew about the party ahead of time.
Thursday night’s meeting had been scheduled before Wednesday’s chaos.
Ald. Smith defended police and pointed out no one was injured and no violent incidents were reported. She called on city agencies, including the park district, to help police go after party promoters.
Another safety meeting is scheduled for Monday night in the 2nd Ward.