Simeon-Morgan Park football game canceled after fight
BY TIM YOUNG, STEFANO ESPOSITO AND HUNTER CLAUSS Staff Reporters September 7, 2012 9:32PM
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Updated: September 7, 2012 11:15PM
One person was stabbed after a fight broke out at Gately Stadium Friday, halting the Simeon-Morgan Park football game, and eye witnesses and a police source said shots were possibly fired.
Loud noises and flashes of light could be seen coming from the Morgan Park stands, according to a Sun-Times reporter who was at the game at 800 E. 103rd. A police source told the Sun-Times a large fight broke out at the game and said officers responded to reports of shots fired.
“We were just cheering for our team, and then the next thing we knew
we heard something,” said Suzy Hilton, 15, a Simeon ninth-grader. “I saw [a flash of] light. We heard a gunshot. And everybody just ran and we had to duck down under the benches. It was real scary. ... I was very afraid.”
But the Chicago Police Office of News Affairs said police officials do not believe gunshots were fired.
“Our dispatcher informed us there was no indication of shots fired,” police spokesman Daniel O’Brien said. “There may have been a person who flashed a gun which may have precipitated or escalated the fight.”
He said police remained on the scene late Saturday sorting out what happened.
Craig Scott, 17, a senior at Morgan Park, saw a handful of teens talking at the top of the stands during the game.
“We overheard them say they were looking for somebody, to beat somebody up,” he said. A fight broke out, and people panicked, he said.
“Everybody sort of dispersed. It was very terrifying.”
He said he saw some people get “trampled” and he heard gunshots outside the stadium after the game.
The stadium capacity is 8,000, and fans could be seen running from the game, including Morgan Park boys basketball coach Nick Irvin.
“I didn’t hear any gunshots,” he said. “People are saying someone just pulled a gun out. I got out of there as fast as possible. I haven’t moved that fast since I was playing.”
Calvin Davis, director of Chicago Public League sports administration, was not aware any shots were fired.
“I haven’t heard any reports of gunshots. It was simply a fight in the stands on the Morgan Park side,” Davis said.
Chicago Police and Public League security cleared the stadium of all fans. The stadium capacity is 8,000.
The game was canceled around 9:20 p.m. and will be continued at a later date.
“Chicago Police decided to cancel the game,” Davis said. “They felt there were unsafe conditions in the area. Nothing happened on the field. It is a suspended game, the day and time they will continue has yet to be determined.”
A spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department said a male was stabbed and taken to Roseland Community Hospital about 8:43 p.m. The age and condition of the male was not immediately known.
Simeon led Morgan Park 6-0 when the game was suspended with 10:27 left to play in the third quarter.