Alderperson calls for legal action after hundreds gather for ‘unpermitted’ event at North Avenue Beach

Ald. Michele Smith says the event, which attracted about 400 people, was promoted anonymously and on social media, with organizers encouraging people to bring alcohol and drugs.

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A Chicago police SUV

Chicago police dispersed large crowds following a gathering May 11, 2022, at North Avenue Beach.

Sun-Times file

Lincoln Park Ald. Michele Smith is calling on City Hall to take legal action after hundreds of young people attended an “unpermitted” event Wednesday night at North Avenue Beach that featured “a drinking contest, boxing matches and twerking contests.”

The event attracted about 400 people and was promoted anonymously and on social media, with organizers encouraging attendees to bring their alcohol and drugs, according to Smith (43rd). 

Police received a warning of the event and searched beach-goers at the entrances for alcohol and drugs. But Smith said the “party attendees” still engaged in “illegal activities,” such as “climbing the lifeguard towers and climbing on CTA buses.”

Smith said she wants the Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection and the Chicago Park District to work with the police to bring “appropriate legal action against the organizers of the illegal event.”

As police officers cleared the beach, people who live nearby reported gatherings at gas stations and other businesses, according to Smith. 

The area was cleared by midnight, and no injuries were reported, according to the police. 

A 18-year-old was arrested on a misdemeanor charge of reckless conduct after he “ignored verbal commands and continued to try to cause bodily harm to several individuals,” the police said.

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