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Police showed up in force in response to another rowdy crowd of teenagers who took to the streets of downtown Chicago on Saturday night.
Hundreds of young people made their way to Millennium Park — home to Chicago’s famous Cloud Gate “Bean” sculpture — smashing car windows and jumping on vehicles, according to local reports and videos posted to social media.
FOX 32 Chicago reported police helped escort tourists and others to their cars around the park, however, a man was beaten after teenagers jumped on his vehicle’s windshield. The victim was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The same news station said it even decided not to keep its crew on the scene as shots were fired on the corner of Madison and Michigan Avenue. Police said two teenagers, ages 16 and 17, were shot around 9 p.m.
One Chicago resident who spoke with FOX 32 blamed “bad parenting” for the chaotic night. “Where are their parents at? That’s my question,” she said.
A similar gathering on Friday night at 31st Street Beach ended when a 14-year-old boy was shot in the thigh and taken to a hospital. Police arrested a 17-year-old, who was charged in connection to that shooting, per ABC affiliate WLS.
Chicago police “continually monitors and adjusts resources as necessary so residents and visitors can safely enjoy the city, including our beaches and lakefront area,” the department said in a statement reported by NBC 5 after the Friday night gathering.
“Last night, CPD monitored activity happening across the city and officers were in place to quickly respond to active incidents and large gatherings,” the statement added. “We will continue to have sufficient resources in place as we work to strengthen safety in every neighborhood.”
As warmer weather arrives with the coming of spring, CBS Chicago noted that on Wednesday, around 150 teenagers gathered at the same park for the first “large group” incident of the season.
These meet-ups, which reportedly are preceded by invites circulating on social media, also took place last year.
In an effort to crack down on these chaotic gatherings, Chicago implemented rules last spring mandating that young people under the age of 18 must be accompanied by an adult to enter Millennium Park in the evenings after 6 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays.