A mob of teenagers numbering in the hundreds flooded downtown Chicago on Thursday, attacking people, stealing from stores, and erupting in fistfights. Police struggled to stop them, reports indicate.
The teens first began their unruly behavior in the city’s Millennium Park off of Michigan Avenue, but once police arrived, the teens fanned out toward other shopping districts, such as State Street and Lake, Chicago’s CBS affiliate reported.
Some reports noted that police were deferential to the kids, and only a few arrests were made, but the teens were defiant and violent.
“They work their butt off all night long, and they are so tolerant of these kids who are just so disrespectful, cursing at them, saying the things that they say, and we have the upmost tolerance of that,” Chicago Police Chief Fred Waller said of his officers.
The Chicago Police Department (CPD) deployed 200 officers to handle the roughly 500-member mob of teens.
Chief Waller also noted that no injuries except bruises and bumps were reported.
Twenty-six boys and six girls were arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, the CPD reported.
“The challenge is to keep the public safe,” Waller added, “to make sure that the citizens who come to enjoy Chicago remain safe. The ones who don’t want to comply and don’t want to do the right thing, don’t want to follow the law – they will be arrested.”
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.