Sunday, August 24, 2014

UPTOWN WHORL: Shots Fired, Then Mayhem

Ribbons of blue lights surround Clarendon Park Saturday night. (Image: Michael Holden, via Uptown Update)
UPDATE 9:16PM AUGUST 24: Police have confirmed that a man has been shot moments ago outside of Clarendon Park. CWB will monitor and have a report for you shortly. The victim, a 23-year-old Conservative Vice Lord, is in good condition with a gunshot wound to his shoulder. Our original report follows...

UPDATE 10:10PM AUGUST 24: Video of a (very) small portion of Saturday night's aftermath found its way to YouTube. This video films the exact intersection where Sunday night's victim was shot.

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More trouble swept the streets of Uptown late Saturday night and into this morning, tying up substantial portions of the district's police manpower for hours upon hours. Few, if any, arrests were made.

In a park near Clarendon and Sunnyside, an intersection where officers last Monday reported that a Chicago Police camera had been intentionally covered with a black plastic bag, all hell broke loose.

The first sign of trouble came at 10:05PM when an officer who was patrolling Uptown alone reported a “big fight” in Clarendon Park, just north of Montrose.

Less than 30 seconds later, mayhem: “They’re shooting,” announced the solo officer, “I’m outside the park [but] they’re shooting!”

Uptown Update this morning:
Readers report hearing 20-25 gunshots fired at Clarendon Park around 10pm.  Police responded immediately and in force, as seen in the photo above.  The park was cleared.  A helicopter circled, and as late as midnight, there were still investigations going on and a large police presence.
Once the park was cleared, fights, random shootings, and general lawlessness spread into neighborhood streets from Montrose to Wilson. One large cell of trouble repeatedly raised alarms at a “known gang building” in the 4400 block of Clifton where an August 13 uprising put more than a dozen people behind bars.

The tick tock from Uptown last night:

Google map of the area
10:05PM - Officer reports large fight in Clarendon Park.

10:05PM - Same officer, working alone, reports shots fired in the park. A “10-1,” police code for an officer in distress, is announced.

10:09PM - Enough units are on scene to begin an attempt to clear the park.



10:10PM - The man who fired the shots in Clarendon Park is described as black, early 20’s braided hair, wearing all white clothing. The description, including the all white clothing, is nearly identical to the description of a man suspected of having a gun at the August 13 incident.

10:13PM - The Chicago Police Department helicopter, which rarely visits our neighborhood except for the Pride Parade, is on-scene.

10:15PM - Caller says the shooter in all white has changed into a black shirt at Hazel and Sunnyside.

10:18PM - Shots fire calls pour in from Wilson/Racine and the area of Truman College. 7 to 8 shots heard.

10:20PM - Shots fired, possibly from purple minivan, in the 1100 block Wilson

10:22PM - No one is shot on Wilson, but the “intended victim” ran northbound on Magnolia.

10:25PM - Damage from shots fired on Wilson: Jimmy John’s restaurant window busted, motorist’s tire shot out. CPD case HX399943.

10:46PM - Major fight brewing back by Clarendon Park.

11:19PM - Multiple calls from the 4400 block of Clifton. 30,40, up to 50 people having a “loud party” at the same address as the August 13 incident.

11:33PM - Multiple calls of a gang fight in the 800 block of Sunnyside near Clarendon Park. One ticket says over a hundred people are gathered, some armed with bats.

11:34PM - They’re throwing bottles on Sunnyside.

11:35PM - Cars are being towed from Clarendon park “for investigation.” Officers report the park is empty, but the streets are not.

11:36PM - Warning to officers: “Use caution…Calls of bats, crutches, and sticks being used as weapons.”

11:36PM - Officers on Sunnyside say they are looking for two black men who are both armed with handguns. One has dreads and is dressed entirely in black. Last seen eastbound from Hazel.

11:37PM - Officers report a large crowd gathering on by Clarendon Park again.

11:45PM - Officers report that the crowd has re-formed on outside the church on Sunnyside.

11:58PM - “Large group” riled up at Montrose and Racine. Officers are dispersing them.

12:28AM - “50 to 75” people on the street in front of the church at Hazel and Sunnyside. “They’re definitely out there. We can see 'em."

12:30AM - “[The crowd] keeps spreading out and coming right back” to the church.

…and so on. The 19th district officially entered Radio Assignments Pending (RAP) status at 2:24 Sunday morning, meaning no officers were available to handle incoming 911 calls. In reality, calls had been stacking up for over two hours. When told of the RAP, a sergeant sighed, “I’m amazed that didn’t happen a looooong time ago.”

The RAP would continue until 8 o’clock Sunday morning.