Two teens have told police they were attacked by a group of at least five youths downtown Tuesday evening just west of North Michigan Avenue.
A witness described the incident as similar to last weekend’s downtown attacks when 20 youths were arrested, including five who allegedly robbed and beat several people inStreeterville and on the Magnificent Mile.
But Chicago police would not categorize Tuesday night’s incident as mob violence, calling it a strong-armed robbery and saying three teens were in custody. Police would not say whether more youths were being sought.
The incident occurred just before 8 p.m. Tuesday near Chicago and Wabash avenues.
One of the victims, a 16-year-old boy, told the Tribune that his wallet was snatched from behind by a group of youths, prompting him and his friend to chase them.
The 16-year-old said he tripped and fell, and the group stopped and started attacking him and his friend, whom police said is 19.
“Three of them hit him, about two of them hit me. . .One gave me a kick to the face,” the boy said. “Me and him got back up, started chasing them again, and three of them were on him. So I ran up. I hit one (of the attackers) and then I got cracked in the face again with a kick.”
A little more than a minute into the interview, officers summoned the 16-year-old, his friend and one or two of their friends into a squad car. It drove from the scene along with a police van transporting one person.
The 16-year-old didn’t appear seriously hurt, but one of the people who joined him in the squad car had a bloodied mouth.
The incident happened down the street from a McDonald’s at Chicago and State Street, where a group of about 70 youths stormed the restaurant in April, closing it for nearly three hours.
In February, Loyola University Chicago warned its Water Tower campus students and staffers about "flash mobs" -- a group of people assembled via text-messaging or social networking websites -- who would exit from Chicago Avenue's CTA Red Line station and allegedly steal items from retail stores around the campus.
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