Suburban Church Cancels Carnival in Wake of Tinley Park ‘Flash Mob,’ Gatherings of Teens in Chicago   – NBC Chicago

A suburban church has canceled its annual carnival in the wake of chaotic teen gatherings in Chicago and Tinley Park in recent weeks.

According to Father Jim Hyland of Most Holy Redeemer Parish in suburban Evergreen Park, the church’s 46th annual carnival was set to take place June 15-18, but will be canceled.

“After hearing from parishioners and consulting with the Evergreen Park Police Department, the carnival committee met. In the interest of safety, the difficult decision has been made to cancel the carnival this year,” Hyland said in an email.

The church says it is looking for an alternative fundraising event to replace the carnival, but no further details were available.

The decision comes in the wake of several high-profile incidents involving large groups of teens gathering in several communities, including Tinley Park, where a carnival benefitting military veterans was cut short after more than 400 teens ran through the event as part of a “flash mob” stunt organized on social media.

At least five teens were issued citations.

“The incident resulted in a police officer being injured and our police department issuing citations to several out-of-town teenagers for fighting in public,” Mayor Michael Glotz said in a statement. “(This is) a growing trend that we must prepare for.”

Photos and videos from the scene showed a chaotic environment in which police officers appeared to be breaking up fights and attempting to disperse crowds.

Earlier this year, at least 15 people were arrested after large groups of teens gathered in and near Millennium Park, with two teens also shot during a disturbance in the area.

Officials in Chicago implemented security checkpoints and curfews after the incidents.

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