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Blackhawks Fans Celebrating Cup Win Shatter Dozens Of Windows

By Serena Dai | June 25, 2013 10:05am
 Blackhawks fans celebrating the Stanley Cup win broke dozens of windows early Tuesday morning. On Clark Street in Lincoln Park, boarded up windows and cracked glass were on every block.
Celebrating Hawks Fan Damage Lincoln Park Businesses
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LINCOLN PARK — It's been a busy Tuesday morning for Carlos Florez.

Florez, of A Emergency Fire Board Up, had boarded up 17 windows on Clark Street near Fullerton as of 9 a.m., and said there was a lot more work to be done.

"Not since the Bulls in '98" has Florez seen as much glass broken by celebrating Chicago sports fans.

The damage was done by a wall of rowdy Chicago Blackhawks fans, who poured out of bars in Lincoln Park and Lakeview and took over the streets after Monday night's Stanley Cup win.

Police said 23 people were arrested in the celebrations around the city.

Lincoln Park resident Katie Hammond was on her porch near North Clark Street and West Wrightwood Avenue when she saw "a wall of people literally breaking and smashing everything" heading south on Clark Street around 1 a.m.

Hammond, a Blackhawks fan who said she was very glad the team won, said it was sad that people destroyed property.

"That [is] not the right way to celebrate," she said.

Windows were destroyed all along Clark Street south of Diversey Parkway, including the New Balance store, 2369 N Clark St.; the Hair Cuttery, 2409 N. Clark St.; Virgin Mobile, 2562 N. Clark St.; Crossroads Trading Co., 2711 N. Clark St., and many other businesses. 

Passersby gaped and snapped photos. Long Island, N.Y., resident Susan Zipkin was visiting her daughter and looked at the shattered glass at Tzatziki Grill, 2485 N. Clark St., in shock. It's a nice area, she said, but she'd seen a handful of broken and boarded-up windows in just a few blocks.

"A hockey win should bring out the best in people, not the worst," she said.

Though windows were broken, Florez said nothing was stolen from the businesses he boarded up early Tuesday — but there was an array of beer bottles found inside some businesses.

"There were a lot of beer bottles," he said, adding that he spotted a Modelo at Hair Cuttery and Corona at New Balance.

He said he expects to board up about 50 windows from Addison Street to Armitage Avenue on Clark Street.

"It makes me ashamed to be a hockey fan," New Balance employee Matt Kolb said.

Police in Lakeview had put together a plan weeks ago in hopes of limiting Stanley Cup mayhem — including containing people to sidewalks and aggressively ticketing people drinking in public.

But as soon as the Hawks won, barricades police had set up to keep fans out of Clark Street just south of Addison proved no match. Fans poured over the metal barricades to party in the streets. Some fans lifted the barricades up and carried them around. Others popped champagne and drank from bottles masked only by plastic bags.

A wall of mounted police officers — 10 horses in the front row, eight in the second row — slowly worked to restore order on Clark as fans found their way back to the sidewalks. Some barricades were restored, and cops managed to keep some traffic moving along Sheffield where it crossed Clark.

The Chicago Fire Department said two people were taken to hospitals from the Clark Street celebration, but further details were not immediately available.

The heart of Wrigleyville woke up Tuesday relatively unscathed, with nary a beer bottle in sight at Clark and Addison. Further west on Addison toward Southport, cans and bottles of Red Bull, Miller Lite and Barefoot Bubbly were still scattered on some lawns, but the commercial corridor did not see the damage that Lincoln Park did.

And though the damage hit dozens of Lincoln Park businesses, some business owners took it with stride. Gamestop's storefront, 2725 N. Clark St., had a spider-web of broken glass, but the real surprise was that the windows had never been damaged before, said manager Trevor England.

"This kind of stuff happens," he said. "This neighborhood is 50 percent awesome people, 50 percent crazy people."