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Did Gang Bangers Force Cops to Close North Avenue Beach?

By Chuck Sudo in News on Jun 1, 2011 1:30PM

We're two days removed from the closing of North Avenue Beach by police and more theories are starting to trickle out as to what prompted the police response.

Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed writes in today's Bright One that acting Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy ordered the beach closed after receiving intelligence reports that street gangs from around the city were converging there and at Oak Street Beach.

Sneed quotes a source as saying, "A gang presence down there is a growing concern and couple it with hot weather, it might have erupted into something horrifying. What beach do you know that closes down because of the heat? These gang members don’t set up shop with blankets and fruit baskets.” This jibes with commenter Zig's account of what he experienced biking past the two beaches. If that's the case, then we're thankful the situation didn't escalate into a battle on North Avenue Beach.

Then there's WLS-AM 890's theory that the increased gang element was part of a flash mob intent on wilding. Police are denying that a flash mob was intent on causing a stir Monday.

We're still amazed that, in a metropolitan area of over eight million people, most of us feel the need to converge on only two beaches. Again, it's a big ass lakefront, people. Use it.