One man was transported by ambulance to Evanston Hospital and four others were in police custody this afternoon after a fight broke out near Evanston Township High School around 4 p.m.

The injured man, believed to be 21-years-old, reportedly got into a scuffle with the other four near the intersection of Church Street and Brown Avenue, just across the street from the school.

The four alleged assailants fled west a block onto Hovland Court and then north to where police were already on patrol on Hovland in the wake of recent disturbances, and that’s where the four reportedly were taken into custody.

The victim reportedly suffered facial injuries. No further word was immediately available about his condition.

Above: An ambulance prepares to transport the victim from the intersection of Church Street and Brown Avenue.

Update 9:15 a.m. Wednesday: Police say no charges have been filed in the incident because none of the parties involved were willing to provide sufficient information about it.

Bill Smith is the editor and publisher of Evanston Now.

Join the Conversation


  1. The anger in the young

    The anger in the young Evanston community is not going away people… parents get a hold of your kids, for their own sake.

    1. Wait, I just moved to

      Wait, I just moved to downtown Evanston from the Gold Coast with my Spouse and 2 year Old. It sounds like I need to buy a wooden bat and be ready to kick some ass when we walk downtown or cut through Church Street coming home from O’Hare. Maybe better yet it is time to be proactive!

      1. “Get a hold of your kids”

        My comment was geared towards the parents of the kids involved in these acts.

        "Get a hold of your kids"… before more violence, ER visits or worse happens to them or to other innocent bystanders. So be proactive in your kids' lives, if you honestly wish for them the best life has to offer.  

      2. a bat?

        Yes – we all need to fight back. First, with our voices. Next…..a bat? Don't be silly! You're not a caveman. Buy a gun and learn to use it. You have every right to do so, and every right to kill anyone who invades or attempts to invade your home… in Illinois, you do not have the right to carry the gun outside your home (IL is the only state of 50 that does not allow this). Perhaps someday soon we'll have the right to carry, but not quite yet. I hope to see Illinois rejoin the USA at some point by adopting "carry" laws of some sort. No, it won't turn into the Old West with gunfights on every corner, it never does (wherever these laws are enacted). Have faith! We'll get there soon. The feral children that run our streets will be considerably more polite once the men & women of Evanston *could* be armed. That's just how it works.

        It would be an incredibly difficult task to "get over" the fact that you had to kill another human being, but you'd get over it eventually. Better them than you & your family. It's a shame we all need to worry about random violence in a great town like Evanston, but it is a reality we all must face. Be prepared. Protect yourself, your family & friends. Be thankful you live in a place where you have (and will always have) the right to defend with deadly force.


        1. Without getting into the

          Without getting into the issue of being pro or anti gun here… but more "legal guns" in homes = more guns on the streets.

  2. Young gangs hold Evanston diners hostage

    This past Friday evening, my family had dinner on the terrace at Bravo for the first time this spring. Despite having enjoyed many evenings there last summer and fall, we will not attempt it again any time soon. Our entire dinner, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., was held hostage by gangs of kids – middle school and high school – marauding the plaza. Foul language, threats, extreme noise, skateboards, taunts, look-at-me costuming, belligerence, low-life rap lyrics and yes, ANGER, ANGER, ANGER. The capstone of the show was lines of kids circling close around the dining area and defiantly threatening the diners and waitstaff to make them stop. This all was attended by two uniformed, armed security guys, as well as the Bravo hostess and waiters. All of them repeatedly chased off the gangs, who returned moments later. Over and over. We were told this whole scene is a nightly occurrence. And as we left Bravo and walked through downtown, we saw these behaviors everywhere.

    We were fascinated by the sociology of it, but we were also repelled and frightened.

    I ask: What are they so angry about? And how did they get the idea this is socially acceptable and that no one will stop them?

    1. The Mayor Needs a Night on the Town

      I recently experienced something similar — where our meal was basically ruined by the obnoxious, in-your-face attitudes of the (dare I say it) gangs of teens loitering across from the closed Borders. I had my young daughter along and was truly worried for her safety and sense of well-being. Thankfully she was oblivious to the "rapping" near us — every other word was a swear word — and to see the benign waiter try to interrupt the group and ask them to move along was comical. I appreciate the security guards out there, but since when do we need to have security guards outside one of the nicer restaurants in Evanston? What is going on here??

      I would personally pay to have the Mayor join me and my family out for dinner to witness first-hand just how awful it is.

      1. Where are the cops?

        The city council has endorsed in the past the "broken windows" theory of criminal justice.  This means that you aggressively go after "small" infractions like the ones you've mentioned: disorderly conduct, graffiti, loitering etc…..

        If you go after people committing these infractions aggressively, a well-ordered environment is maintained and the little infractions don't develop into big ones.

        Unfortunately, the cops in this town rarely do this.  It is amazing that the mayor is nixing the Tilted Kilt because it is affront to "community standards" when crap like this is going on downtown!

        I guess, from her perspective, a law-abiding business like the Kilt will debase the existing "community standards" where you have a bunch of anti-social neer-do-wells terrorizing downtown!

        We could use a serious purging of the "standards" upheld by these sorts of people.

    2. What are they so angry about?

      Clearly you did not read or accept “Olen’s” explanation, submitted Tuesday, April 19, 2011, regarding the hostile African American youth. “Olen” made it clear that the violence you described is “to be expected” as “American society has been historically violent towards black men and black men, in turn, as members of this society, unconsciously recreate this violence unto themselves [and others]”. (Sarcasm fully intended).

      So you were “fascinated”, “repelled” and “frightened”, but not angry? They ruined your evening and apparently many others, yet no one does anything about it. Why are so many afraid to confront these kids? I have done it countless times and they are genuinely shocked that someone actually stands up to them. More people should say “enough is enough”.

    3. This has become much more common…

      …and I am seeing it all over the downtown area too.  Just this evening at about 730 there was a group of 8 loud teens brazenly smoking dope in Fountain Square.  They were there for at least 20 minutes and seemingly showed no concern that they might be seen or confronted.  Part of the problem in this part of town is that there are stretches of empty property that encourage this sort of behavior– with little foot traffic, who's going to hassle them?  That said, I have also noticed the area by Urban Outfitters and Bravo has become very rough as well, and there are lots of people passing through there. 

      I think that it is time to increase police presence on the downtown streets– how about assigning a few officers to walk the beat?

    4. When in doubt call the police

      When in doubt call the police about this stuff.  Believe me, I have many times about "gang" or "disturbing the peace" behavior. Never once has a police officer made me feel like I'm overreacting; to the contrary, they encourage us to call about anything. I have their direct number on my cell & whenever I've called they've been there within minutes. Sadly, these situations seem to be escalating….

      I'm surprised the restaurant didn't do so…obviously the security guards weren't enough.


  3. More plates needed!

    Didn't they just have a “Peace March”, “Anti-violence rally” or some other “call to action” in and around this area last month? Ah yes, I remember now. The organizer said the goal was to “show young people in the community that shootings and other violence in the community are not OK”.  Apparently the paper plates with the cute hand painted peace signs, the disruption of traffic, and smiling faces didn't have any effect on the neighborhood. Oh, well……carry on everyone.

  4. Solutions

    Sounds like we need some stepped up police patrols and social services. That costs money, and Evanston doesn't have any.

    If only there was someone – a local businessperson, say – willing to invest in fixing up one of the empty buildings downtown to open a restaurant/bar. That would bring new money into the city's coffers to help offset the costs related to our spate of shootings and fights at the high school and the problems mentioned by Kit S.

  5. Cop on every corner

    The mayor, or the next mayor, needs to implement something akin to the old "cop on every corner" concept. There are too many areas that truly need constant patrolling. For all the complaining about taxes, I'd gladly see a 1% increase with all proceeds going to the police department for some kind of program like this.

    And I agree with whoever said- call the police when you see this kind of behavior. Residents have to have the attitude that this is unacceptable behavior and force the issue.


  6. Address this issue and fast

    If 'regular' people in the neighborhood are fearful of dining and shopping in the downtown area, they'll stop going and other businesses will have to close. Downtown is already struggling, so the Mayor better step up and address this issue fast before it becomes a waste land. It's not that far from it now!!!

    1. Deeply rooted problems

      I agree that something needs to be done and fast.  The problem though is deeply rooted in how these kids were raised.  There are two worlds living in Evanston. Each one has it's one values and way of thinking.  Increased attention from the police and politicians will solve some of the problems but they can only go so far. 

      1. I agree with you 100% that it

        I agree with you 100% that it starts at home – but citizens don't have any control of how parents are raising (or perhaps not raising) their kids, so it falls into the hands of police, teachers, politicians.

  7. Sorry, the mayor only cares about morality issues

    I am sad, but glad to see all of the problems and issues all of you are seeing. I am shocked that so many people were loud and appalled by the Tilted Kilt, but yet where is this anger and disgust about these rowdy kids? One of the major opponents to the Tilted Kilt works in the Fountain Square building; I am sure that she like others turns a blind eye to the poorly behaved teens in Evanston. I have yet to see a petition about keeping the Fountain Square clear of the homeless, loud/obnoxious kids, or "illegal smokers."

    Also, if the mayor truly cared, she would do something. But, sorry. She only cares about preserving the perceived morality of her sisters' beliefs and blocking anything that deviates from that. I really wish she focused on the real issues in front of us.

  8. Perhaps downsize fire, upsize

    Perhaps downsize fire, upsize police? Nah. The Evanston Way is: upsize both, raise taxes.

    1.   I hope you are joking!?  Do

        I hope you are joking!?  Do you see an ambulance in that photo?  I do!  So let's get this straight…Evanston Now didn't post an article about the calls that the fire department went on that day.  So that must mean that their manning should be reduced.  Who do you think responds to the stabbings, shootings, and beatings with the police.  You got it…the fire department.  That is a very uneducated statement you made.

  9. Talk to the kids

    I agree with the poster who said to confront the kids.  I would say "talk" to the kids, but same idea.  Try something like this:

    Hey, looks like you are having fun.  So are we, but we can't hear each other because of your (music, skateboards, whatever).  Could you be  a little more quiet or move?  Cool.  Thanks.  

    Or, to the kids smoking pot:  Hey, I know you think we don't know what that is, but we actually do.  And it is illegal.  And if I can tell from here so could a cop.  

    We have to communicate to each other.  And don't bother telling me I am naive.  I do this kind of stuff all the time and it works.  Especially if you can start out with something like — hey, I like your wheels, deck, skate trick, shirt,   or whatever.

  10. Police chase young men with guns

    Why no mention of the police chasing young men with guns the other night in this same general area? Fortunately, all were apprehended and the gun recovered, but yet another example of how this area will never change…despite the March for Peace!

  11. Where are the parents?

    Why is it always up to police and city leaders to control the troubled kids in our community? Why don't we hold parents responsible? If a kid gets in trouble, arrest the parents. You want to have all these kids? You take responsibility for them.

    1. Maybe parents would get the message if…

      I don't know the legality of this but if a member of a house is convicted of a violent crime [including any type of armed—gun, knife, threat of having one— robbery then owners of apartment buildings, coops and all rent subsidized units would be able to evict the family.  Maybe such a threat over their heads would have more affect than the laws, police and demonstrations seem to have.

      1. Going After Landlords who harbor criminals is perfectly legal

        This is one thing that the city can do as a proactive action to deal with these criminals.

        If you look at the arrest reports and then investigate who owns the property where many of those arrested live, you will see that many of the town's criminals live in rental properties owned by absentee landlords.

        These landlords are harboring criminals and exploiting the safety of the community for their own private monetary gain. Having a criminal record IS NOT a protected class in housing. Landlords can deny rental applicants based on criminal backgrounds. They can also terminate leases if members residing on the property commit crimes.

        The city needs to communicate with these rental property owners and figure out ways to exclude habitual criminals from taking up residence in the city. 

        Many landlords obviously don't care, but other techniques like getting tough on property standards compliance will perhaps make landlords more discerning in approving leases.

        This will stabilize neighborhoods and lead to an increase in property values and–hopefully–make Evanston an inhospitable place for criminals.

        This requires a proactive, coordinated plan involving property standards, zoning, and the police.  Right now all of these departments operate reactively–meaning, they respond to citizen complaints AFTER  problems have occurred.  The need is to use this information to act PROACTIVELY, identify bad apples and make life hell for them and their enablers.

  12. Tisdahl, are you reading this?

    If so, please respond.

    We know what you're doing to thwart development and economic progress in Evanston, but what are you doing to combat crime? It's time to stop being politically correct (if that's even possible for an elected official to consider) and take a stand against this BS.


  13. No Charges!?!

    "Police say no charges have been filed in the incident because none of the parties involved were willing to provide sufficient information about it."

    No charges?!?!  Yet the city picks up the bill for the emergency response, (who knows who pays the hospital bill) the school environment is disrupted, yet again, and the assailants are left able to do the same thing again, next time.  Maybe the silent victim should be cited for provoking an emergency response, or at least billed for the city services provided.  How about installing (additional?) police cameras all along Church, in front of the high school, and down Dodge? Based upon what has happened recently, it seems like they might provide some interesting viewing. 

    1. Comment to No Charges

      Camera are not the solution.  I live in this area and not inclined to get cameras.  if the police already know the people involved, why cameras.   How do we know if these involved a re from  this area?  Young Men between the ages of 18 and 35 need to be involved in some sort of educational programs in Evanston, be it learning skills or a degree.  The problem with Evanston is that we spend a lot of money downtown, but, nothing to help our youth who need the help the most.

      You think Evanston is thinking about a skill based learning facility for our youth…in this age group with counseling and the works.  No, they are not.  But, by the time you add the cost to keep peace transportation back and forth to hospitals and not counting the police present, you have a facility and can staff it.

      Give me a break, until people get off their foundations and demand that the City do something, nothing will happen. 

  14. Evanston

    I feel so sad for my once progressive home town, We now only talk of police and bats as answers to age old issues.

    We produced the anger in our young by not dealing with our problem head on!

    A subculture is alive and well in Evanston, created by apathetic City and schools and community  that had the mindset ( they aint my kid so why bother) the lower income folks in this town have been in trouble far longer then this resent down turn. 

    And now its showing up in force, you can build fences, call the police say the citys   broke whatever, the cost of continuing to ignore  truly troubled parts of our towns true cost will be immeasurable.

    You cant arrest your way to community health, we need investments in people not JAILS!!

    And having a shot of scotch on the veranda wont make it go away! 

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