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McCarthy Boasts Of Fast Police Response To Latest Mag Mile 'Mayhem'

By Samantha Abernethy in News on May 20, 2013 9:40PM

Twelve people were arrested on Saturday after people ran rampant down the Magnificent Mile, and Police Supt. Garry McCarthy is trying to tamp down the panic of the predicted summer wildings.

McCarthy says it's not quite the mayhem it sounds like, and officers knew the mob of up to 70 youths was coming to cause trouble along the tourist-y strip of shops.

"We met them when they came off the train. We walked them around like we did the NATO protestors, and when they crossed the line into what could be criminal-type activity, from just being kids, we took effective action," McCarthy said.

Eleven juveniles and one adult were arrested Saturday after dozens met up at Michigan and Chicago avenues around 7:45 p.m., then flooded the area. The crowd wasn't violent, but it was rowdy, and a bystander told the Tribune that people in the crowd "were cursing, being obnoxious." Police called it a "minor disturbance," but a bystander told ABC7 it "was like a huge riot going on."

According to the Tribune, as police corralled the crowd out of the area, one officer told the group, "Chicago is closed. Time to go home." As McCarthy pointed out, "Those kids have a right to go to Michigan Avenue."

McCarthy also said, "So far to date, there's been no major incidents." We'd like to point out there were 28 people arrested in a similar incident in March. It's hard to argue this is much ado about nothing.

In the meantime, Gov. Pat Quinn signed legislation Saturday that increases penalties for those who use social media to organize violent mob acts. The measure doubles the maximum penalty to six years in prison, and it takes effect immediately.