Memorial Day 911 tapes cite fighting near beach before closing
BY ALLISON HORTON Staff Reporter June 24, 2011 12:54AM
Police close the beach early at North Avenue on M emorial Day. Rumors were that high temperatures and excessive capacity caused the closing. | Al Podgorski~Chicago Sun-Times
Updated: June 24, 2011 9:32AM
A group of youths were fighting and attacking others at Oak Street and near North Avenue beaches before police closed North Avenue beach on Memorial Day, according to a collection of 911 tapes of distressed beachgoers.
Emergency dispatchers handled at least five separate calls from beachgoers reporting violent acts in the area of North Avenue and Oak Street beaches, according to 911 audio tapes obtained Thursday by WLS Radio from the Chicago Office of Emergency Management and Communications (OEMC) under the Illinois Freedom of Information Act.
A male caller who said he worked at the Oak Street Beach food and concessions stand said, “We have a couple of gentlemen who are threatening to shoot us, threatening to whip our a . . . trying to take our own equipment.”
A female told police there was a large crowd of kids fighting near Oak Street Beach.
A female told the 911 dispatcher that she witnessed someone being attacked in the area of North Avenue Beach where she’d noticed only one bike cop the entire time she was there.
“Yes, there’s a fight breaking out on the beach because there’s nothing but animals covering this beach today,” the female said. “They just took someone down and starting kicking him.
Police said that North Avenue Beach was closed because of hot weather. Several people suffered heat-related illnesses.