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911 on The 606: Four Charged After Fire on Bloomingdale Trail

By Alisa Hauser | August 16, 2013 9:11am
 The 606/Bloomingdale Trail at Milwaukee Avenue and Leavitt Street in Bucktown.
The 606/Bloomingdale Trail
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BUCKTOWN — Despite new "No Trespassing" signs posted on the Bloomingdale Trail — several of which are covered in graffiti — people are finding their way to the elevated oasis above the city.

And some are apparently starting fires there, too.

About 10:25 p.m. Wednesday, four twenty-somethings were arrested in the 1800 block of North Leavitt Street in Bucktown after police responded to a disturbance call of "people starting a fire."

"When police arrived they saw saw several suspects run eastbound," said Officer Daniel O'Brien, a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

The following people were arrested:

Jose Nunez, 22, 1000 block of N. Rockell Ave.; Brittany Ochoa, 20; Bennita Alcantara, 20; Chris Burgos-Santiago, 23, 4400 block of South Wood Street.

All four were placed in custody and charged with one count of misdemeanor trespassing each in the incident, which took place near the new ''Park 567'' adjacent to the trail.

The 2.7-mile Bloomingdale Trail is Chicago's first elevated, multiuse linear park, which runs through the Logan Square, Humboldt Park, Bucktown and Wicker Park neighborhoods along old railroad tracks. It's part of a larger project, referred to as "The 606," that includes parks adjacent to the trail.

Marj Halperin, a spokeswoman for the project, said Park 567, one of 12 access points to the trail, is expected to host a ribbon-cutting ceremony on the same day construction of the trail begins.

On Thursday, Halperin said "There's no ground breaking date yet, but we should have one fairly soon as the construction contract is being finalized." 

When asked if The Trust for Public Land, which is developing the five access parks in partnership with the city, has a statement on trespassing in its parks, Halperin replied, "The no trespassing signage is clear all along the trail, including Milwaukee/Leavitt where these folks apparently gained access."

O'Brien said the fire was started with "not much more than debris" so it was "easily put out."

"They stamped out the fire, so it couldn't have been very big," he said.

Nunez, Ochoa, Alcantara and Burgos-Santiago face a Sept 19 court date at Cook County Branch 23 Court at Grand and Central avenues.