Thursday, May 18, 2017

VIDEO: On-going Mayhem Has Boystown Businesses Closing Early And Bars Calling For Help

In late 2015, Crain’s Chicago Business politics writer Greg Hinz wrote a column under the headline, “What's happening in Lakeview is a crime.”
Tired of suffering from vandalism, fights and the party! Party! PARTY! mentality that has taken hold of the streets, the only cafe on Halsted Street that stayed open 24 hours a day on weekends put up a sign saying that from now on, it's lights out at 10 p.m.
In what's supposed to be one of Chicago's most desirable, prosperous neighborhoods, this is a canary-in-the-coalmine moment.
Essentially, a street that used to be a meeting ground for horny gay boys has morphed into a second Rush Street, with bad actors doing bad things.
A man on the ground is stomped during a fight last Sunday in Boystown. | Anonymous
18-months after Hinz’s column, the cafe that he wrote about—Nookies Tree at 3334 North Halsted—no longer closes at 10 p.m. It now closes at 3 p.m. Every day.

And there are indications that Nookies may be closing permanently, though its owners did not reply to an inquiry about their plans.

Things have not been improving along Halsted Street.
A man is dragged into the middle of Halsted Street and beaten early Sunday | Anonymous
Last week, we reported on the re-emergence of nighttime street fights along Halsted. The brawls are no longer limited to weekend nights. You’re just as likely to find yourself amongst one on Tuesday and Wednesdays now.

A Boystown visitor captured this fight video on Sunday night. Right outside of Nookies.

In the background, Northalsted's private security patrol can be heard calling for help before one of its officers steps into the fray.

Lately, some Boystown bars have been making after-hours 911 calls, asking police to clear loitering crowds away from the businesses so workers may leave safely.

Just look at the police action on Halsted Street from early yesterday:

12:25AM — Officer requests more cars to handle a street fight at Newport and Halsted.

12:28AM — Sergeant orders cars to remain on Halsted between Addison and Belmont until the end of their shift.

1:24AM — Staff from a bar located near Halsted and Roscoe asks cops to clear the Halsted Street sidewalk “so their team can leave safely”

1:35AM — Ten men and a woman refusing to leave 7-Eleven at Roscoe and Halsted. One man dressed as a woman is running in and out of the store, stealing liquor.

3:00AM — Man is beaten and robbed at Halsted and Roscoe by two men dressed as women. Minutes later, cops catch up with both offenders on Belmont Avenue. Charges are pending.

3:10AM — Residents report large groups fighting on the street in the 800 block of West Buckingham.

3:19AM — Woman says that she’s been attacked by a man at the Belmont Red Line station.

That’s quite a scene for a Wednesday. Stand by for summer, everybody.

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