Flash mob strikes hours after Quinn signs tougher law

On the same day Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn signed a bill designed to crack down on “flash mobs” on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile, 12 people were arrested for public disturbances along the upscale shopping district.

Flash mobs have been an ongoing problem for the past two years in the Gold Coast neighborhood, which includes Loyola University Chicago’s Water Tower Campus.

Using social media, the mobs gather in the Gold Coast and cause disturbances, including thefts from stores and attacking passersby, typically stealing their mobile devices, police said.

Here is a portion of the latest flash mob story from ABC-7 Chicago:

A heavy police presence was out along the Magnificent Mile Saturday night after complaints of rowdiness on the street.

Police say eleven juveniles and one adult were taken into custody for recklessness and obstructing traffic.

“There was like a huge riot going on – someone held up a phone and the police knocked it out of her hand – that’s all I saw, though. I’m scared for my safety,” said witness Martha Nulu. “I never know what’s gonna happen, and I usually come downtown thinking it’s a safe area so … kind of scary.”

Police say there were no fights or other violence connected with Saturday night’s arrests.

Those arrests come on the same day a new state law was passed to crack down on people who use social media to organize groups for so-called “flash mobs.”

Governor Pat Quinn signed the bill into law Saturday along Michigan Avenue.

It comes in response to an uptick in such crimes in that area in recent months.


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