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12 arrests in Hyde Park Halloween havoc after fights break out, cars vandalized

Sun-Times file photo

In a continuation of Hyde Park Halloween-night havoc from the past several years, car windshields were smashed and a dozen people were arrested Wednesday night as hundreds filled the streets for what some dubbed a “Halloween Purge.”

Large groups of teens were at the center of the ruckus, Chicago police said. There were several fistfights and cars were hit with eggs, rocks and golf balls.

Related: Hyde Park residents trying to find welcome mat for Halloween

Around 7:15 p.m. that night, an 18-year-old man and 11 others between the ages of 12 and 17 were arrested, according to police. The arrests came at a Halloween festival in the 5300 block of South Lake Park Avenue after punches were thrown and teens refused to disperse, police said.

All 12 were charged with misdemeanor reckless conduct.

In incidents that police say are unrelated to the festival fight, videos posted to social media showed large groups of teenagers running through residential streets and jumping on top of parked cars as they shoot what appear to be firecrackers into the air.

That led to several cars being vandalized between 9:45 and 10:30 p.m. in the 5400 blocks of South Kimbark and South Kenwood, police said. No arrests were made, and no injuries were reported, but parked cars along entire blocks had their windshields smashed, videos showed.

The South Side neighborhood that’s home to the University of Chicago has had past problems with out-of-control teenagers on Halloween night.

Last year, Hyde Park parents worked with police and local elected officials to come up with plans for alternative activities to let kids have fun without causing trouble. While some of those plans were scrapped due to lack of funding, kids were still offered discounted movie tickets and opportunities to play games.