Chicago PD: New Eastside June festivals go off without incident
(Published June 30, 2019)
By Jesse Wright
Chicago police officers gave New Eastside residents some good news at the monthly CAPS meeting.
Police sergeant Anthony Dombrowski reported June events, Blues Festival and Gospel Festival, saw few problems, despite drawing large crowds to Millennium Park.
“Things went pretty well in those two events. We had challenges last weekend because there wasn’t just the Blues Festival, there was also a Formula One event at Soldier Field,” Dombrowski said.
In addition, he said the police continue to crack down on people who trespass at Vista Tower. The tower is nearing completion, and Dombrowski said the Vista, which will be one of the tallest buildings in the city, continues to draw explorers.
“We had some incidents at the Wanda Tower” he said, referring to the project by its former name. “We’ve had some young rascals that want to challenge the height of the building. We’ve had people parasail off the building, successfully.”
He said police are arresting people who trespass on the property.
“We had two guys who were intoxicated and decided to climb up the tower,” Dombrowski said. “People in the community started Facebooking this live on their community pages. They did it during the day where it was pretty obvious they were doing it. We arrested both gentlemen who are suburbanites.”
With warmer months, police are also seeing an uptick in drag racing on Lower Wacker Drive. Historically the phenomenon has been a problem and Dombrowski admitted the perpetrators are a challenge for police.
“Frankly, we’re overwhelmed,” he said. “It’s hundreds and hundreds and it’s not the same group every weekend, its different car clubs.”
The drag racing is dangerous for the drivers and for other drivers and it creates noise issues, but Dombrowski said the police have a new strategy to stop the problem before it starts. He told residents that many of the drivers meet in private parking lots prior to drag racing and, if the businesses are closed when they meet, Chicago police are arresting drivers for trespassing. In early June, officers made nine arrests.
“Hopefully it sends a message,” he said. “These aren’t bad kids. These are kids who are into cars and they want to live that lifestyle.”
Dombrowski reminded residents to report any crimes they see or hear. He pointed to some gang graffiti recently removed due to quick reporting from a New Eastside resident.
“If you do see graffiti,” Dombrowski said, “if you can take a picture of it and send it to the alderman’s office and send it to our office and we’ll get rid of it.”
The next CAPS meeting is 6:30 p.m. July 8 at 400 E. Randolph St.