Roaming mob of 'urban youth' terrorized Chicago's 'Magnificent Mile' in below-freezing weather, sent Asian bystander to the hospital

Cold weather no longer is acting as a deterrent to the marauding mobs of teenagers (of no particular demographic characteristic, according to Chicago mainstream media) roaming through Chicago's showcase shopping district along Upper Michigan Avenue around the Water Tower.  News of the attack could not be ignored, because the famous Water Tower Place Mall had to be closed and because the mob sent an innocent bystander waiting on a subway platform to the hospital.

CWB Chicago, the feisty neighborhood blog that does not shy away from facing Chicago's descent toward anarchy, reports:

At least four people were injured and CTA Red Line traffic was snarled as large groups of teens and young adults brought havoc to the Magnificent Mile on Saturday evening.  One arrest was made.

Alderman Brian Hopkins (2nd) tweeted at 7:47 p.m. that "Water Tower Place will be closing at 8 p.m. tonight due to mob action by large crowds of juveniles."

The latest Mag Mile mob scene began around 5 p.m. when a victim reported being battered near the Red Line station at State and Chicago.  A man was arrested in connection with that attack.

At the same time, employees of a nearby McDonald's reported 50 teenagers fighting inside the restaurant at 10 East Chicago.  After being pushed from the restaurant, the group headed to Water Tower Place, where a disturbance was reported on the second floor at 5:45 p.m.  Police estimated the crowd to be 50- to 60-strong.

Police moved the teens out of the mall and followed the group as it headed east toward the lake and then back to Water Tower, sparking widespread reports of assaults and fighting.

By 6:30 p.m. the mob began making its way back to the Red Line station at Chicago and State.  The H&M store reported being struck by a large number of shoplifters and the McDonald's again reported being overrun by the mob.

Once on the Red Line platform, members of the group began beating up people at random.  Three people filed police reports for battery and an ambulance was summoned to treat the victims.

The subway station where the attack took place.
Photo credit: Chicago Transit Authority.

Thanks to a report in the Sun-Times that was later scrubbed but preserved by CWB, we know that:

Yue Lei, 28, Chicago, was beaten by a group of teenagers about 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 29 while waiting for a train at the Chicago and State Red Line station.  His glasses were broken and his hand, lip and eye were injured. 

As a later version of the report noted, Mr. Lei asked not to be identified:

About 7:30 p.m., the victims were waiting for a train at the Chicago station, 800 N. State St., when the teens stepped onto the platform, according to Chicago police. One of the people in the group then asked a 26-year-old man if he was recording them, which he denied.

The horde of teens then approached the man, a 29-year-old woman and her 28-year-old boyfriend and started punching them, according to police and the victims, who asked not to be named.

All three were treated at the scene for bruising and lacerations, according to Chicago Fire Media Affairs.

The 28-year-old, who has lived in Chicago for three years, said he later went to University of Illinois Medical Center at Chicago, where he learned that his eye socket was fractured.

Mr. Lei evidently fears reprisals.  His girlfriend, who traveled half the continent to be with him, told the Sun Times that he prudently is moving:

The woman who was struck had traveled to Chicago to visit him from San Jose, California.  Disillusioned by the violence, he now plans to move to a "safer area" and avoid public transportation.

Second City Cop, the Chicago cop blog also unshackled from political correctness, asks the obvious question:

[W]ait a second, was this a hate crime?  Fifty against three?  Damn – once again, the media fails to describe even a single offender except as a "teen."

The transit police promise close examination of CCTV footage.  We'll see who, if anyone, is brought to justice.

Meanwhile, Chicagoans can look forward to (or dread) the return of warmer weather.  CWB remembers what warmer weather brings to Chicago's showcase shipping district.

Other cases were reported in early May, on Memorial Day weekend,  and on Thanksgiving weekend.

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