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Some of city’s mayhem includes suburban element

Updated: July 13, 2012 6:18AM



Urban youth are often blamed for the mayhem that has helped give Chicago a reputation for being a beautiful but violent city.

But as evidenced by at least one of the mob attacks that occurred as hundreds left the Blues Festival at Grant Park this weekend, sometimes the culprits aren’t city-dwellers.

Six of the seven juveniles charged in connection with the mob attack in the 500 block of North State Street ranged from 13 to 16 years old, and resided in the near west suburbs of Broadview, Bellwood and Maywood. Another 15-year-old lives in Chicago.

Police also charged Mitchell Coradarrowe, 18, of the 5900 block of South Indiana with one felony count of mob action and one felony count of aggravated battery in connection with that attack.

Although the police consider the attacks to be “random,” I doubt these teens bumped into each other at the Blues Fest and decided on the spur of the moment to beat up people on the street.

Police are still looking for more than a dozen young people who took part in two other mob attacks: an ambush near the Red Line station at Lake and State streets, and another attack near the Gold Coast.

Suburbanites have long come into the city looking for illegal drugs, and people who live in neighborhoods located along the Eisenhower Expy. are used to seeing suburban teens sitting on dark corners with their engines running.

But these days, suburban teens are also flocking to Chicago to be part of the music scene and festivals.

That can also end poorly.

Last year, when an intoxicated 18-year-old Highland Park woman was raped, allegedly by two teenage boys, after she was turned away from a concert at the Congress Theater in Logan Square.

A lot of people thought neighborhood thugs were to blame. But Logan Square residents didn’t rest until police caught up to the people responsible for the despicable crime.

Several months later, the police arrested Aanwar Barbour, 16, of Oak Park and Terrance Ford, 15, of the Northwest Side. Both men were charged as adults with aggravated criminal sexual assault, kidnapping and robbery. Bail was set at $750,000. Another 16-year-old, Charles Chuning, of Chicago, was also charged with aggravated sexual assault and robbery.

From the get-go, activists in the community were convinced the teens responsible for this barbaric act did not come from their historic community.

Unfortunately, few of us can take that stand.

Last summer, the city also experienced several mob actions that included teens swarming into upscale shops on Michigan Avenue and grabbing as much merchandise as they could carry.

In other violent incidents, people were attacked and robbed of their cellphones.

There is no excuse for this criminal behavior, and police are right to try and track down every single person who was involved in the recent attacks.

In fact, I believe it is only a matter of time before a misguided teenager gets killed because he or she is taking part in this sick sport.

So if you allow your teen to frolic in the city unsupervised, read them the riot act before you let them out the door. Chicago cops aren’t playing.

Tourism is well on its way to becoming an important component of Chicago’s economic development plan. As with any city that depends on tourism dollars, safety is of the utmost concern.

Additionally, most teens participating in these mob actions likely don’t know the risks. One blow, one kick, one punch could be enough to cause serious injury or death and send them to prison for all of their youth.

Finally, it is bad enough that criminal behavior has turned some once idyllic suburbs into undesirable communities, and these communities are struggling to find the resources to fight back.

But keep your bad kids at home.

Chicago has its own share of problems.



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