mob violence personal safety tips Self-Defense

Melee on Mag Mile caused more angst than injury

The warm Easter weekend brought out crowds of shoppers to Chicago's Mag Mile and a lot of teens looking for trouble. Credits:   KathyPryn via Creative Commons
The warm Easter weekend brought out crowds of shoppers to Chicago’s Mag Mile and a lot of teens looking for trouble.
Credits: KathyPryn via Creative Commons

It was a beautiful day to be shopping and sightseeing down on Chicago’s Mag Mile, but around 6 p.m. Saturday things started to turn ugly with reports of teens intentionally bumping into people and fighting amongst themselves near the intersection of Chicago and Michigan. reported “We were there, we were on top of it, and we dispersed it immediately,” Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy said at a news conference at the Calumet District police station Monday.

“I also want to be clear: There were no assaults, robberies or property damage that was reported” at the time of the 17 Mag Mile arrests, McCarthy said.

Community activist Andrew Holmes saw something different while shopping with his family. “You had a group of teens, close to maybe 500. They assaulted a Chicago police officer that was mounted on a horse and all of a sudden they assaulted a citizen walking the streets, just a normal citizen shopping and enjoying the weather,” said Holmes, according to CBSChicago.

The melee on Michigan Avenue was the least violent action to take place on the streets of Chicago Easter weekend. reported that two people died and at least 20 others were injured by gun violence during another bloody weekend in the city. 

Early Easter Sunday morning 8 people were shot, 1 fatally, in under an hour. 

These shooting took place on Chicago’s south and west sides, not on it’s Magnificent Mile, so many people won’t hear about them, but because a bunch of teens invaded prime real estate there will be headlines all over the country.

What is going to happen when the weather eventually turns warm and then hot?

According to the Chicago Tribune a spokesman for the union that represents rank-and-file Chicago police officers also expressed concern about how the police department will respond to such disturbances during the spring and summer.

Patrick Camden, the spokesman for the Fraternal Order of Police, also noted that Ald. Brendan Reilly, whose 42nd Ward covers the downtown area, has proposed that businesses hire off-duty cops to patrol North Michigan Avenue.

What steps should you consider taking in case the police aren’t there in large numbers to quell the next mob action?

1. Start paying attention to who is nearby and what is taking place around you.  Just because you are in, what most people consider a safe area doesn’t mean you should lower your guard. 

2. Scan ahead of you as you walk down the street the way you would if you were driving a car checking the traffic ahead of you.

3. If you witness a group causing trouble by blocking sidewalks or jostling people walk into a store or restaurant and call 311 the Police Departments non-emergency number, and report your concerns.  If you witness something more serious call 911.

4. When walking or sitting alone refrain from texting which prevent you from seeing trouble coming your way, or using ear buds or headphones which may prevent you from hearing it.

5. If you are the victim of a strong-arm robbery giving them what they want may help you avoid serious injury, but that doesn’t mean they won’t still try to harm you.  Throw your valuables in one direction and run in the other.

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If you are interested in a Personal Safety/Self-Defense Class for you, your high school, college, business, or organization contact me at

Ed Kress
For over 35 years Ed Kress has been an instructor and student at the Degerberg Academy of Martial Arts, named "Best Overall Martial Arts School” worldwide by Black Belt Magazine. Master Fred Degerberg awarded Ed his 7th degree Black Belt in 2015. Growing up on Chicago’s Southside, Ed learned early in life to pay attention to his surroundings in order to avoid potentially dangerous people and situations. Along with local law enforcement officers and directors of campus security, Ed has developed a program which focuses on teaching personal safety on the streets, and as it relates to the high school and college experience. Ed has trained thousands of adult men and women as well as high school and college students to improve their personal and situational awareness and, when necessary, how to physically defend themselves using their brains as well as their bodies. Ed began his martial arts career when he started wrestling in 8th grade, taking 1st place in the Chicago Park District City Championships. He later wrestled varsity at Mendel Catholic High School where he was a Chicago Catholic League Conference Champion. During his college career at North Park University he was a Conference Champion and 2-time NCAA Div 3 national qualifier. He was on his way to qualifying for the 3rd time when a neck injury ended his college career. His record that year was 17 - 0. He continues to wrestle as Head Freshman Wrestling Coach at Loyola Academy. A position he has held since 2004.

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