Saturday, March 22, 2014

PUNCH DRUNK: A Taste Of What's Coming This Spring

Image: Evil Crayon
Gosh, some of these people are getting all handsy lately. Especially on Halsted. And not in a friendly way.

It won't be long before stupid antics like some of these incidents will tie up our limited police resources, causing important matters such as robberies to get weak and delayed responses.

Friday, 4:53AM: Officers go to Illinois Masonic Medical Center to meet a battery victim who says she was attacked by her ex-boyfriend's new girlfriend at Hydrate nightclub, 3458 N. Halsted.  CPD record HX192917.

Friday 3:19PM: A battery in progress is reported at Halsted and Waveland. Officers track down the 200+ pound offender and take him into custody. Initial indications are that he will be charged with making threats. CPD case #TBD.

Friday, 11:44PM: A report of "15 to 20 people" fighting outside of an apartment building on Sheffield, just south of Wrigley Field. No report.

Today, 1:35AM: Officers are flagged down outside of Roscoe's Tavern, 3356 N. Halsted. An arrest is made for battery. Officers transport the offender to St. Joseph's Hospital to "get cleaned up" as he apparently received more wounds than he dished out. Case HX194236

Today, 2:24AM: The eternally active Subway restaurant, 901 W. Belmont, is reported to have "at least 20 people fighting inside." The incident is quelled. No report.

Today, 2:36AM: Two men are tracked down and arrested for battering a man outside of Houndstooth Bar at Clark and Roscoe. The incident is originally reported to be a robbery with the offenders demanding the victim's cash as at least two witnesses looked on. In the end, though, it's classified as a battery in case HX194297. Final classification is TBD.

…and a few items from previous nights that we have confirmed…

March 9, 11:16PM: Two arrested for battery at Roscoe and Halsted. Case HX178589

March 11, 3:05PM: Officers are flagged down at the Center on Halsted. One arrest for assault on the sidewalk. Case HX180715.

March 11, 6:29PM: Two callers report that someone is trying to attack a man with pepper spray near the Walmart Express on Broadway near Addison. No arrest made. Assault report filed in record HX180969
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  1. First let me start by saying I am a cop. These bars have been here for decades and the problem has never been so bad, even ten years ago it was never so bad. So what is different? Let me offer my opinion:
    1. The smoking ban... Yes it's healthier to not have buildings filled with smoke. However now smokers have to continually exit the establishments and clog the sidewalks to smoke. This creates more crowds outside that are at least partially intoxicated. People bump into each other, words get exchanged, punches get thrown. Also people waiting in line get upset that smokers can come and go...
    2. The younger generations entitled attitude. Before when the police got called in to a noisy party or a crowded bar and ordered people to dispurse, people actually did just that. Now we have a generation of people who have been taught to question authority and refuse to comply. What used to be a ten minute job to clear out a loud house party has now changed to a half an hour and calling in extra cars for crowd control because the sweet children do not feel the need to leave the area....

    What can be done about these issues is debatable but, these two things I feel use up 70-75 % of police man power on busy nights, which means less police to hunt criminals and thus a rise in robberies and crimes.

    1. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and first-hand insight, officer.

  2. Now that's about the most accurate assessment of the situation in our neighborhood bar scene that I've seen. 100% accurate. Unfortunately it's not pc for politicians or leaders to address this accurate assessment because they'd be accused of violating the rights of these punks or being racist or homophone or antiwomen or whatever else the crowd is in the streets.

    On a side note, I've always wanted to have a fire truck hose with me when walking by these bars with all the drifters outside puffing away so I could spray them with high powered ice cold water. They hog the entire sidewalk because of the entitled attitude and you are subject to smelling the shitty smoke from their lungs being blown on you as you walk by. I'd rather have the smoking sections inside so you can avoid them.

    And throw your damn butts in the ashtrays or garbage cans.

  3. It doesn't surprise me how disrespectful these cretins can be. Yet if their on the wrong end of the stick, who are the first people they call? I, for one, certainly appreciate our police force.

  4. In a follow up to first post, I would suggest the city look into allowing bars and restaurants to purchase "smoking licenses". In other words allow bars to choose to be a smoke free or smoking establishment. Allow the patrons to actually choose where they wish to go. If they are a smoker go to the smoking bar, if you like the non smoking ones, then you must actually leave and wait in line to re-enter if you need a smoke. The city wins as well by creating a new revenue in the smoking licenses. Make sure it is perfectly clear outside the establishment if it's a smoking or non smoking establishment.

    As to the elitist entitled generation of people... I have no suggestions on how to change them...

  5. The problem with this idea is one of that larger reasons smoking bans came about and that is to protect the employees. The idea gives smokers a choice but limits the employment choices of non smokers.

    1. Worried about smoke? Apply at non-smoking establishments. Devoutly Christian? Don't apply for work at Playboy. Don't want to risk physical injury? Don't become a cop. Easy.

  6. Another thing to consider in this mess is the effect of mainstream acceptance of gays. It's safe to come here now for people who would never go anywhere considered "gay." People viewed this neighborhood as the "gay area" even though the Wriggleyville bars on Clark appealed to straight residents of the neighborhood. The people who are coming in now and turning that street into a cauldron wouldn't have been caught dead hanging out here before. Back in the 80s I worked in the western suburbs for a while, and I can tell you that's true, and the people I worked with were very vocal about it. They'd come in for a Cubs game, but "I'm not hanging out there!" It was considered "Homo stuff." The neighborhood has always had a reputation as a fun area, and now it's considered "safe" for the people who wouldn't come in before...and they've taken over. Same thing with the Parade. Back when it was the "Gay Pride Parade" and not the let's-include-everyone Pride Parade it was viewed with horror by the people who are flocking to it now and causing trouble and turning it into a mess. We had an inclination of things to come when the bachelorette parties became a scourge of Halsted Street a number of years ago. This has always been an entertainment area, but it drew it's patrons mostly from the neighborhood residents...and people don't foul their own nest. The crowds coming in now from outside don't give a shit about the neighborhood. They don't care if they trash the place, it's not their home. They're like an invasive species. After they've picked this area clean they'll swarm on to another place considered "cool" like Bucktown, take over and trash that neighborhood.

  7. Something was going down outside of Hydrate at Halsted and Cornelia this morning about 5:00 a.m. There were 2 police units an ambulance outside, along with a crowd of around 50 people. Not sure what it was, exactly.

  8. There is a billboard on the north side of the street between Lakewood and Racine for Old Style advertising Thursday night pub crawls. Anyone know what those are about?

  9. We have a Mayor that refuses to hire more Police and seems to have in his head there is an acceptable level of crime as long as it's not shootings. That's the problem. Clark Street and Halsted Street need a Police presence period. Year ago in the summer Police were riding 4 wheelers all the time. Don't see those anymore and rarely see the Police presence we used to have.

  10. You will get more police if you vote Rabm and all his sycophant aldermen out. It is in your hands if you want a safer neighborhood. Things will be much worse and the neighborhood will be much more dangerous if Rahm is reelected.