ROGERS PARK — Thinking about venturing out onto the ice before temperatures creep above freezing?
A family with a young child was ticketed Saturday for trekking 100 yards from shore at Jarvis Beach and putting themselves in danger of plunging through, police said.
"I guess it was really far out," Rogers Park Police District Cmdr. Thomas Waldera said.
He said his officers spotted the seemingly adventurous family of three sometime after noon and issued them a ticket for violating a city ordinances that prohibits any behavior on city beaches that "jeopardizes safety and health."
The family could be fined as much as $500, according to the ordinance.
Waldera declined to reveal the identity of the family.
Polyana Wolf, a longtime resident of Jarvis Avenue, said she saw the whole incident unfold from her window.
Wolf said she spotted the family walking about beyond the bumpy — and sometimes mountainous — shelf ice when a police patrol car pulled up, flashed its lights and blew its siren.
"Apparently [the ice] got pretty hard because they walked out on it," she said of the smooth ice that forms farther away from the shore during the coldest winters. "I've never seen anyone walk out on it."
An officer then stood on the riprap along the beach and hollered and waved his arms at the family, she said.
One of the figures on the ice, who she thought might have been the father, broke away from the other two, Wolf said.
"He came in to see who was yelling," she said. "The mother and the child stayed out there playing."
When the man came to the beach, the officer ordered the rest of the family to follow, then he appeared to scold the man, she said, before the family sat in the back of a patrol car.
Wolf said it appeared the officers drove away with the family. But police said no arrests were made.
"This is Lake Michigan — it doesn’t freeze hard. That ice disappears from one day to the next," Wolf said. "I figured they were from out of town."
Police spokesman Adam Collins issued a statement urging people to "please stay off" Lake Michigan's ice.