Violence Escalates at Taste of Chicago

If you’re going to the Taste of Chicago, be careful.

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Three teens — including a 15-year-old boy who was seriously hurt, and two others who got caught in a “melee” — were stabbed near the Taste of Chicago Thursday night.

In an apparently unrelated incident around the same time and at the same Loop intersection where the boy was seriously hurt, police officers Tased a man.

The boy was walking down the street with a group of friends in the 200 block of South State Street when they encountered a group of males fighting about 9:25 p.m., according to police News Affairs Officer Ronald Gaines.

The boy felt a pain in the back and realized he had been stabbed, Gaines said.

Police News Affairs Officer Amina Greer said the male stabbed is 15 years old.

That stabbing happened near the intersection of Jackson Boulevard and State Street and one person was taken in serious condition to Northwestern Memorial Hospital about 9:18 p.m., Fire Media Affairs spokesman Joe Roccasalva said.

The Tribune called it a "rowdy night."

That’s an understatement:

Some people attending the Taste reported other violence, which apparently brought out a large contingent of riot-clad police to the area.

Taja Jarrett, 20, was getting out of her retail job in the Loop at 8 p.m. when she said she first noticed large crowds in the area. She and Shanice Brown, 17, were planning to check out the Taste  festivities when they saw a fight break out near one of the entrances.

The two walked west to Dearborn Street where they encountered another large brawl. They also saw an increased police presence, including officers on horses, ATVs, on foot and in cars. Dozens of helmeted on all-terrain vehicles ushered a large crowd west on Jackson Boulevard away from Grant Park.

Other reports are coming in from friends on Facebook of people getting caught in the middle of fights on Metra trains coming from the Taste.

Be careful.