‘A nightmare’: West Loop residents agitated by overnight disturbances


CHICAGO — An unruly crowd in the West Loop disrupted neighbors with fireworks and car stunts overnight.

It’s the second time in July that a large early morning gathering turned into a significant disturbance, with an officer falling victim to injury.

Video obtained by WGN News shows multiple cars drifting in the downtown roadway. One day later, skid marks remain at the intersection of Clinton and Monroe.

Neighbor Aniket Nakhade says he had a front-row seat to the chaos from his apartment.

“Turned into a nightmare,” Nakhade said. “It was so scary because it was like an uncontrolled mob. They can do anything.” 

Describing the scene, Nakhade added: “Jefferson was blocked. Monroe was blocked and three to four roads were completely blocked. Some people were coming out of their vehicles. Some were running. And I heard noises as if they were racing the cars.”

Videos on the Citizen app show vehicles and people gathered at the intersection as drivers do donuts and drift.   

A resident who lives in the area, but did not wish to be identified, says the noise awoke her.   

“I heard a lot of screeching,” she said. “It was really loud.”

Nakhade captured the moment police dispersed the crowd. Spectators then end up less than a mile away in the 1100 block of S. Canal St. Police say they responded to a call of drag racing and fireworks being thrown from the upper level of a parking garage.

According to police, a firework struck and injured an officer. A 17-year-old was arrested and charged with one felony count of aggravated assault on a police officer.

Two weeks ago, on July 2, a similar scene occurred in Portage Park. A police officer was taken to the hospital for minor injuries when a crowd attacked a squad car.   

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It’s startling scenes from the past that residents say they don’t want to happen in their area. 

“I work second shift, so all I want is to get home,” the woman said. “I don’t want to be stuck in traffic when I’m super tired. I want to go to sleep. You pay for comfort down here. IT’s uncomfortable to have to go through that.”

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