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Charges To Be Filed In North Avenue Beach Stabbing

By Ted Cox | June 14, 2017 2:04pm | Updated on June 14, 2017 4:33pm
 North Avenue Beach
North Avenue Beach
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LINCOLN PARK — Charges will be filed against one of the two men involved in a knife fight on North Avenue Beach Tuesday night, according to Chicago Police.

Police said Wednesday that one of the two men was determined to be the offender, and he is in custody with charges pending.

A 25-year-old man and a 35-year-old man got into a fight at about 6:15 p.m. on North Avenue Beach, 1600 N. Lake Shore Drive, according to a Chicago Police Department spokesman.

The men were "in a physical dispute with each other, over a domestic-related issue," police said. One pulled a knife, and the other responded with the jagged edge of a broken bottle.

The 25-year-old suffered a cut to his chest, while the 35-year-old suffered cuts to his face, knee and wrist. Both were treated at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, police said.

"The offender is in custody, and charges are pending," a police spokesman said Wednesday, adding that they could not identify the man until charges are filed. "The victim was in critical/serious condition at time of the incident."

Police said the fight was broken up quickly by responding officers.

"The beaches are safe," Deputy Supt. Kevin Navarro said Tuesday night at a news conference on the beach. "This is one incident that occurred between two subjects.

"There’s really no way to defend an argument between two people, but [we] just want them to know that we were right on the scene, doing everything we need to do to keep the beach safe."

It was the second violent incident this week on Chicago beaches. Two 16-year-old boys were shot and wounded Sunday night at 31st Street Beach. According to police, the teens "were in a physical altercation when an unknown offender fired shots striking the victims."

One boy was hit in his neck and stomach, the other in his legs.

Although 4th Ward Ald. Sophia King originally reported that police had "strong leads" on the shooter, police said Wednesday that "no one is in custody, [and] detectives continue to investigate."

"Neither victim is a documented gang member," a police source said of the teen shooting victims. 

Earlier this week, King urged residents to be outspoken and cooperative with police amid summer violence.

"Traditionally, the summer represents a time for outdoor enjoyment of warm weather and friends; however, given the ongoing episodes of violence, families and children are left to question is anyplace safe," King said. "As concerned community members, we need to work collectively to create alternatives to violence, partner with law enforcement to safeguard our streets and stand against the perpetrators of violence."

City beaches saw a similar rise in violent incidents almost exactly a year ago, including a series of beach brawls at North Avenue, prompting Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to create a Summer Mobile Patrol Plan bolstering police presence on the lakefront.

Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer (D-Chicago), who used to run the lakefront parks for the Chicago Park District and whose 10th District still covers the North Side beaches, said the incidents have to be taken in context.

"It's a tragedy, but I don't think it's a bellwether of something larger," Gainer said Wednesday. "The beaches, especially the popular areas, it's summertime and they're teaming with people, and it's hot and these things are going to happen.

"I think we have really low rates of violence on the lakefront and in the parks when you consider the sheer numbers of people who are coming together every day there," she added. "Bad things are going to happen from time to time — that's human nature — but I don't think this is a reflection on the safety of the beaches."

Gainer said statistically the Lakefront Trail is probably more dangerous than the beaches.