'I'm scared': Police prepare for possible North Riverside Mall unrest after downtown Chicago chaos

ByChristian Piekos WLS logo
Thursday, April 20, 2023
Police prepare for unrest at west suburban mall after Chicago chaos
Where is North Riverside Mall? The North Riverside Police Department is preparing for potential unrest after a teen takeover in the Chicago Loop.

NORTH RIVERSIDE, Ill. (WLS) -- North Riverside police officers went business-to-business on Thursday, checking in ahead of the potential unrest planned this weekend around the North Riverside Park Mall.

After what happened last weekend in Chicago, residents who come to this mall often said they are on edge.

"It's just scary, and I hope it gets better, and that the police can control this," said Janell Salgado, a Cicero resident.

Salgado, a mother, shared her concerns about what could unfold around North Riverside Park Mall this weekend.

"I'm scared for the people around the neighborhood, for my children, my grandchildren, people associated here, everyone around here. It's very dangerous," Salgado said.

The North Riverside and neighboring Berwyn Police Departments issued a warning to residents about potential unrest planned on Saturday afternoon around the mall and a next door UrbanAir Adventure Park.

"They want the attention. I just think they are too young to know exactly what they are doing," said Vicente Perea, a Lyons resident.

In a statement, Berwyn police wrote, in part, "This gathering, much like what was reported on in the City of Chicago last weekend, has the potential for public disturbances and acts of violence."

North Riverside Mayor Joseph Mengoni said after a chaotic weekend in the Loop, his police department was tipped off about the potential unrest this Saturday by the Chicago Police Department.

"I was alarmed obviously, immediately," Mengoni said.

He said to expect an increased presence of law enforcement at the mall this weekend.

"As long as nobody is breaking any laws or ordinances that pertain to the village of North Riverside or the State of Illinois, people will be fine," Mengoni said.

North Riverside Mall also issued a statement on Thursday, writing in part, "We've decided to enact our Youth Supervision Policy for that day, we're working closely with local police to monitor the situation and have planned for increased security staff at the mall."

What that "youth supervision policy" means is that everyone 17 and under must be accompanied by an adult when at the mall.

That policy is already in place every Friday and Saturday.