Parade Organizer: “There's No Reason to Drink Like That”

SS Irish Parade organizers say 54 participants were hauled in

Promoters of the 31st annual South Side Irish St. Patrick's Day Parade were thrilled with the turnout, weather and timeliness of the parade, but not with the 54 arrests, parade committee member Mary Beth Sheehan.

"We worked on it for months and months and it all came off without a hitch. The parade itself we thought was fantastic. We got all sorts of positive feedback," Sheehan said.

"We just wish those who behaved in a different manner would keep in mind that this is a neighborhood to homes for tens of thousands of people. It's frustrating to us. There's no reason to drink like that. It's disturbing," Sheehan said.

There were six arrests for drinking on the public way and four for underage drinking, said Sgt. Mike Casey of the Chicago Police Morgan Park District's Neighborhood Relations Department.

Of the 54 arrests, the vast majority -- 25 -- were for disorderly conduct, he said.

Police also arrested five people for battery, three for obstructing a police officer, three for criminal trespassing, three for public urination, two for aggravated assault, one for drunken driving, one for criminal damage to property and one for aggravated battery, Casey said.

Two Midlothian residents were arrested after they fought with police officers in the 111th Street Metra station shortly after the parade ended, Casey said.

Krystal Bartak, 18, of Chicago, was charged with battery after she spit on an officer who was trying to settle a dispute between Bartak and another woman at 3 p.m. Sunday, Casey said.

When police were taking Bartak into custody, her companion, Gonzalo Vasquez, 17, of the 15000 block of Lawndale Ave., punched one officer in the back and then punched a sergeant in the back of the head, Casey said.

Vasquez was charged with two counts of aggravated battery, remained in police custody Monday and has a bond hearing Tuesday morning., Casey said.

Peter Tsiouris, 21, of Burbank, was charged with drunken driving, hitting an unattended vehicle and driving on a suspended license at 9:55 p.m. Sunday in the 2100 block of West 101st Street, police said. He hit a car and drove across two lawns in the 10000 block of Bell Avenue before his car hit a tree in the 11000 block of Bell, Casey said.

Those with parade-related arrests have the same court date: 9 a.m. April 14. That makes it easier for community groups to keep track of what happens to those arrested, Casey said.

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