The mother of a Forest Park Middle School student crashed her car into a home at 1100 Circle Avenue on Friday after being informed of a brawl between several students, including her son, following dismissal on the last day of school.
According to a police report, two students who witnesses said who had been fighting the entire school year confronted one another while walking on Circle, and a fight broke out.
The fight was broken up, and one student was picked up by his grandmother, while the other called several friends as well as his mother.
The youth’s friends arrived, and they apparently began chasing another youth involved in the fight. Some of the students brought large sticks, which witnesses identified as 2x4s. Police Sgt. Michael Murphy reported seeing one youth with a raised stick yelling, “I’ll kill you, [expletive].”
In the report, Sgt. Michael O’Connor estimated that about 30 youths were at the scene when police arrived at Circle and Fillmore Street.
Neighbors emerged from nearby houses, attempting to take the sticks and break up the fight. One threatened to call police, to which a student responded “[expletive] you and [expletive] the police.”
“They were not listening to me. It was like I was a 250-pound invisible guy,” said Geoff Binns-Calvey, who tried to break up the brawl.
He noted that not all the youths were involved in the violence, as some seemed to be trying to get the sticks out of their peers hands.
At this point, the mother of one of the youths arrived at the scene at a high speed, lost control of her car and crashed into the northwest corner of the home, missing a gas main by under a foot.
She observed her son struggling with police as they attempted to arrest him, then grabbed Murphy in an attempt to free her son from police custody, according to the police report. Both the mother and son were arrested and issued local ordinance citations for public fighting, as were the other youths involved.
A police report noted that during interviews, students identified those involved in the fight as members of the Unknown Vice Lords and the Four Corner Hustlers street gangs.
Many witnesses on the scene were especially disturbed by the fact that the mother’s car displayed Chicago vehicle stickers.
“Every day I see cars with city stickers dropping kids off,” said one crossing guard, who did not wish to be named.
Village Administrator Michael Sturino said police believe the students involved likely lived in Forest Park. Still, he said he plans to meet with District 91 Supt. Randolph Tinder to come up with a strategy to deal with the problem of out-of-town residents attending Forest Park schools.
Though Tinder has acknowledged that some out-of-town students may “get away with it,” he has indicated that he thinks some beliefs regarding the number of out-of-town students attending Forest Park schools are exaggerated.
“A vehicle sticker doesn’t mean they live out of town. There could be any number of reasons,” he said.
One of the middle school’s instructional aides recently concluded a two-month surveillance operation at local CTA stations, and reported seeing only one student get off the train. According to Tinder, it was determined that the student was returning home after visiting his father.
He said the study revealed many students, who some believe just got off the train at the Desplaines Avenue station, actually entered the station to buy “candy bars and soda” at the convenience store located inside.
Since the fight occured after school was out, Tinder said the district is limited in the actions it can take.
“Two and a half months from now it would be kind of pointless to call them in,” he said.
Bill Dwyer contributed to this report.