Police respond as North Riverside Park Mall shuts down

Large groups of unaccompanied juveniles descended on shopping center

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By Bob Uphues

Editor

Officials at North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 Cermak Road, ordered the shopping center shut down at about 5 p.m. on Dec. 29 and called in a large police presence to disperse crowds and turn away anyone trying to enter.

Police at the scene said that large groups of unaccompanied juveniles started arriving at the mall after social media posts encouraged youths to show up at the shopping center. At least one shopper leaving the mall told the Landmark that fights had broken out inside the mall. Social media posts in the past half hour or so also refer to fights taking place inside the mall.

North Riverside Police issued a Level 3 ILEAS callout, according to one police source, indicating that more than a dozen area police departments had been requested to help. In a press release, North Riverside police stated that no property damage or injuries were reported.

The mall "closed down due to large groups of unattended juveniles," the press release stated. "These groups were causing large disturbances throughout the common areas of the mall."

Two juveniles were arrested for disorderly conduct, according to police. The mall will open for normal business hours on Dec. 30.

In 2013, the North Riverside Park Mall instituted a juvenile escort policy on Friday and Saturday evenings, which prohibits entry to anyone 18 or under unless they are accompanied by an adult 21 or over. The policy was instituted because of similiar incidents around that time.

Meanwhile, several businesses in the North Riverside Plaza and Cermak Plaza in Berwyn either shut their doors early or began restricting entry after juveniles leaving the mall started making their way east. Among the businesses closing their doors in the North Riverside Plaza were Michael's and Chick fil A. Jewel-Osco remained open but locked one of the two entry doors. CVS at the corner of Cermak and Harlem in North Riverside also closed early.

In the Cermak Plaza, Marshall's, The Gap Outlet and Office Depot closed early. McDonald's closed its dining room, but the drive-thru remained open. At Walgreens and Tony's Fresh Market, entry was being restricted by employees stationed at the doors.

Employees at Walgreens said they called police after more than 20 juveniles entered the store all at once. They reportedly left the store without incident. A heavy police presence remained in the vicinity of Harlem Avenue and Cermak Road until after 8 p.m.

Contact:
Email: buphues@wjinc.com Twitter: @RBLandmark

Reader Comments

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Earl Hickey  

Posted: January 2nd, 2019 2:18 AM

A similar mob of teens formed downtown on the Mag Mile on the Near North side of Chicago. Disrupted businesses at Water Tower place , the McDonald's at Chicago and State and beat up 4 people at the CTA Red line station at Chicago ave. Source : CTA Mob attack images released ,http://www.cwbchicago.com/2019/01/cta-mob-attack-images-released.html

Jon Points  

Posted: January 1st, 2019 9:56 PM

Based on these comments, it appears that racism and economic discrimination is not dead in North Riverside. I don't shop at the mall, not because of the kids or the stores, but because of the racists that live in the community. Get rid of the racists and the perception of the problem, I suspect, would not be as dire.

Salmon Lupulo  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 10:32 PM

Let's just be real and get it over with. In 5 to 10 years the place will be the new Division Street flea market/Swap-o-Rama where you can buy live chickens, mangos and other fruit, used auto parts, cheap 3 packs of socks/bras/underwear, stolen tools, etc. etc. Oh yeah and the ghetto fights gone wild DVDs they sell. North Riverside Mall 2025. And the parentless teen scum yesterday didn't come from Westmont, LaGrange, Westchester, or even Berwyn, you diptards. Straight up West Side. This is why urban planners now plan mall developments beyond the reach of public transportation. I still shop at NRM but it's sad to see the nice stores closing and the dollar and low rent stores moving in. Very Sad.

Marcia Mrazek from Berwyn  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 5:14 PM

Bruce Kelly, wrll, they were on the westbound 21 (Cermak Rd) bus which comes from Mercy Hospital, out Cermak to the mall. They could have gotten on anywhere on that route, but were already on the bus when i gor on at Lombard Ave. So, odds are, they came from the south and/or west sides

MaryRita Kizior from North Riverside  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 12:10 PM

This is all "in your face" stuff, like what are you gonna do? They see what's happening on TV and internet in other places and likely think they can do their own thing, ie, civil disobedience. Exerting authority they really don't own. I would guess a better police presence is needed, and arrest those who break the law every time. They think strength is in numbers, then numbers should be waiting for them in response. A real lesson on The result of disorderly conduct is needed.

Dylan Bellisle  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 11:33 AM

We must do more to provide safe and productive things for young people to do - especially during break times. One issue I have with the reporting is labelling the youth as "juveniles" which criminalizes them. Tons of teenagers go to the mall "unaccompanied" all the time. I am sure many were just there when things happened, and some came because they were bored but did not do anything wrong. teenagers or "minors" could work. I am sure if we are reporting positive news we would not call teens "juveniles."

Fred Allendorfer from Brookfield  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 9:50 AM

We see celebrities berating authority to cheers and praise, we see glorification of the thug life, and endless attacks progressively undermining our traditions. Then we wonder why such mobs exist? The systemic decay of society is going to have some unpleasant side effects!

Bruce Kelly  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 9:33 AM

John Doe-you know this for a fact?

Jon Doe  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 8:09 AM

These street kids come from the south and west side of Chicago,

Bruce Kelly  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 6:10 AM

Where did these kids come from?

Diana Yesenia Ortega  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 4:33 AM

I work in one of the establishments that remained opened. A heard of teens came buzzing in trying to hide from police. My question is where the heck are the parents and discipline? Patrons were disturbed until police can be in and escorted most out. Anyone without an adult could not stay. It was a horrible experience. I never grew up in times like these where kids don't respect adults. Shane on this country.

Sergio Lopez  

Posted: December 30th, 2018 1:54 AM

Then you got angry black moms on abc news talking about "they racist against out children" naw lady your kid just don't know how to act ! Smh fam

John Bradshaw from Brookfield  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 11:37 PM

This mall should be leveled. It has never been safe and causes more harm then good. People go there to start trouble, when in reality, they should be there to shop! It is a mall, not a WWE Smackdown.

Citlaly Estrada Trejo from Berwyn  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 10:04 PM

It's crazy these people really went through with the mob. It was all planned on facebook but it wasn't even planned by teens it was planned by bored fiends who think their high off fake as drugs.

Steven Spiro  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 9:53 PM

If safety is the most important consideration, then more thought should be given to the following: (1). if the 2013 juvenile escort policy isn't being enforced, then enforce it, (2). if it's being enforced, but poorly, then properly enforce it, or (3). if it's being enforced properly, but not working, develop a policy that's more likely to work. It's a no-brainer that juveniles are more likely to gather in large groups through social media during holidays. Did mall administrators and police anticipate this, plan accordingly, and utilize the policy?

Johana Marquez  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 8:59 PM

This is unfortunate but it looks like the police got it under control. Nowadays there is no really safe place and besides I would rather support my tax base and the business that support our local community.

Anthony Harris  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 8:58 PM

Damn They Had That Bitch Bussin Where Tf Was I?

Myisha Owens  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 8:54 PM

The sad thing about this situation is these kids don't have no organization they could be apart of in these communities. I don't understand how they have so much anger against each other when everyone is behind a phone, tablet, and game console. If they interact with each other more in physical positive way none of this would occurred.

Kevin Lukwinski  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 8:20 PM

Close the mall, then watch your taxes rise.

Terrayne Ellis  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 8:05 PM

You all are not being great you all are being stupid... i agree youth need hangouts... but it suppose to be a safe place and if it get outta control... SHUT IT DOWN...2018 the young ppl believe when truth beingredients told ppl... when you know better you do better... Act according none of yall own a thing.

Raul Pelayo  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 7:36 PM

Contrary to what many believe, the mall is actually pretty nice. Not a dump at all. But around the holidays when kids are out of school, they love to create chaos just like other malls like Orland Park just had recently. There were way too many kids in the mall and they made the right call to ensure the SAFETY of everyone which is more important than anything else.

Mike Albertini  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 7:05 PM

I disagree Mark, Did most of my Christmas shopping there. Stuff like this happens everywhere. I'm sure the police had it under control.

Mark Roegner  

Posted: December 29th, 2018 6:51 PM

Place is a dump and should be closed permanently

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