Tinley Park carnival canceled Sunday after fights break out during teen 'flash mob': VIDEO

5 juveniles taken into custody, police officer injured after about 400 teens show up at Armed Forces Carnival

ByCate Cauguiran and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Monday, May 22, 2023
Suburban carnival shut down after fights during 'flash mob': VIDEO
A Tinley Park carnival fight caused the Armed Forces event to be shut down on Sunday, police said.

TINLEY PARK, Ill. (WLS) -- There should have been a full carnival set up in Tinley Park on Sunday.

Instead, crews were packing everything up after village leaders said a "flash-mob incident" on Saturday shut down Armed Forces Weekend celebrations.

Video posted to social media showed one of multiple fights that broke out after hundreds swarmed Saturday's event as part of a flash mob.

Authorities said the massive crowd ran through the parking lot and caused chaos as people attending the carnival were celebrating. Isabel Bedolla and Abby Kaiser had just gotten off a ride before they saw a rush of people running.

"It definitely came out of nowhere," Kaiser said. "I saw everybody running away from it and I just didn't know what to do."

One cell phone video shows police trying to break up the crowds at the 80th Avenue train station.

"There were a bunch of guys in ski masks and there was a ton and we saw them around and then all of a sudden people started running," Bedolla said. "I got all my friends, and we ran towards the library, and we were trying to call all our parents and get them to pick us up, because we were all, like, really scared."

Tinley Park police said at least 400 teenagers showed up at the carnival. Village leaders called it a "flash mob incident" that was organized on social media.

One officer was hurt in lthe flash mob, but will be OK. Five juveniles were taken into custody and released to their parents.

Bedolla and Kaiser said one of their friends got hurt as they tried to get away.

"One of our friends got, like, choked, and tried to get robbed from their jacket," Bedolla said.

The girls said their friend is doing okay. But, what unfolded on Saturday night, and concerns over it happening again on Sunday night, led officials to cancel the final day of the carnival.

Anita Jenkins drove a half hour with the hope of taking her young daughter, Hazel, to Sunday's festivities, only to find out that it was canceled.

"It was crazy that my mom told me last night that, 'you guys better get a head start. and go before some of the teenagers or high schoolers come and cause chaos,'" Jenkins said.

Police said the carnival was shut down after fights broke out on Saturday, and that Tinley Park officials shut down Sunday's event after finding another post asking teens to gather again at 5 p.m.

"It's just really shameful," Jenkins said. "I am not blaming anyone, but parents aren't having a grip on their kids. You know, I would never allow my daughter to behaving in the streets like that or ruining things for everyone around her."

Police said there were no shots fired or guns recovered, said despite online rumors about an active shooter.