Lincoln Park

Teens Climbed Lifeguard Towers, CTA Buses at ‘Unpermitted' North Ave. Beach Event: Officials

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Chicago Ald. Michelle Smith says that a large event at North Avenue Beach on Wednesday was not permitted by the city, and that her office will pursue criminal charges against organizers after several arrests were made when exiting partygoers began causing disturbances in several North Side neighborhoods.

According to a press release issued by Smith's office, the "unpermitted" gathering on the North Side attracted more than 400 people to the lakeshore, mostly teens and young adults.

Smith said that the event was promoted via social media, and encouraged attendees to bring alcohol and drugs to the beach.

Authorities learned of the event in advance, and placed additional officers at entrance points to the beach, allowing them to search attendees for alcohol and drugs, Smith said.

Even still, attendees climbed on lifeguard towers and CTA buses, and police moved to break up the event in the late evening hours.

Following that, police observed gatherings at local gas stations and businesses in Old Town and Lincoln Park.

Even still, Smith says that "very few arrests" occurred, and thanked Chicago police for their work in keeping residents and property safe.

"We want to thank the Chicago police and 18th District Cmdr. Jon Hein for their handling of what could have been a tense situation," she said.

Smith says she is requesting that several Chicago agencies, including the Park District and the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, assist the Chicago Police Department in bringing legal action against organizers of the event.

Police confirmed that at least one arrest was made.

Social media video from the scene shows a large crowd of youths walking, along with heavy police presence, on the 1600 block of North LaSalle Drive.

Video also shows an altercation taking place.

Around 11:25 p.m., police said they told the crowd to disperse. An 18-year-old was arrested after ignoring verbal commands and continued to try and cause bodily harm to several individuals, police said.

The person was placed into custody and charged with reckless conduct, authorities said.

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