Annual Halloween Purge disrupts community activities on 53rd Street

Neighborhood organizers work in conjunction with the Chicago Police Department Tuesday, Oct. 31, to maintain peace as hundreds of youth descend on 53rd Street. – Spencer Bibbs

Staff Writer

In spite of organized activities set up by Aldermen Leslie Hairston (5th), Sophia King (4th) and members of the Hyde Park-Kenwood community in a collaborative effort to help counter last year’s Halloween Purge, nearly 400 Teens showed up on 53rd Street again this year on Tuesday night, Oct. 31. Brawls, egg throwing, confiscation of BB guns and several arrests were made during the night, according to eyewitnesses.

A post on Facebook about the Halloween gathering in Hyde Park was made around 10 a.m., on Tuesday morning, Oct. 31, according to several sources.

According to the Chicago Police Department (CPD), the first incident took place on the 1500 block of East 53rd Street when two males, ages 17 were arrested for Aggravated Battery to a peace officer after being asked by University of Chicago Police officers to leave the scene. 

A window was broken during an altercation at the corner of 55th Street and Lake Park Avenue. – Spencer Bibbs

Chicago Police said the offenders unprovoked began to hit the officers with closed fists and were placed into custody immediately.

After the incident, the officers were transported to St. Bernard Hospital in good condition.

The second incident took place on the 5100 block of South Kimbark Avenue after an offender struck a male victim in the head with a BB gun. 

The Chicago Police Department breaks up a fight at the corner of 53rd Street and Lake Park Avenue. – Spencer Bibbs

Another offender then pointed a BB gun at the victim and took several of his personal belongings, as they both fled in a dark blue Chevy Impala, according to Chicago Police. 

Later that evening, University of Chicago Police observed the vehicle and a pursuit ensued, leading to the offenders hopping out of the car and being both apprehended and placed into custody on the 4800 block of South Evans Avenue. 

One black and one silver BB gun was recovered along with the victim’s belongings. Both males ages 17 and 15 were charged with Armed Robbery.

Although the constructive activities that were planned by community leaders did not stop chaos from happening on 53rd Street, compared to last year there were not as many arrests or reports of property damage.

According to the Chicago Police Department, the 2016 “Halloween Purge” resulted in 10 juvenile arrests, including three for disorderly conduct, four for reckless conduct and other arrests for trespassing, theft and aggravated battery to a police officer.