Chicago, IL – Violent rioters smashed the glass doors of the Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville on Monday night and terrified sick children and their families who were staying there.
The facility located in the 200-block of Grand Avenue, just a few blocks away from Lurie Children’s Hospital, came under attack in the early hours of Aug. 9 when violent anti-police protesters rioted in the city and looted businesses, WBBM reported.
Lisa Mitchell, of Ronald McDonald House Charities, said more than 30 families and their sick children were inside their facility when it came under attack, WLS reported.
“[We were] very concerned there was a lot of activity right in front of the house, people making choices that could put them at risk and put our families at risk so the staff was frightened,” Mitchell said.
She said the staff, patients, and sick children stood by helplessly as rioters smashed their windows and threatened their safety and security, WLS reported.
“They are already in a really, really difficult spot, and having this kind of additional stress and worry about getting to and from the hospital even-though we are five blocks away because of safety concerns is just doubling the strain,” Mitchell said.
The building was placed on lockdown temporarily as the riot raged outside to keep the tiny patients and their families safe, WBBM reported.
“We’re here for families at all times – whether there’s a pandemic or civil unrest, we need to make sure that we are here allowing families to get the rest they need while they have a child in the hospital seeking care, and so it’s so important that anything that might be going on outside, we maintain our care for families,” Mitchell explained.
The rioters did not break into the building and nobody inside was injured during the assault on the exterior, WLS reported.
Looters smash the doors of the Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville with families and their sick children inside: pic.twitter.com/H1hkwJBaIv
— DIANE PATHIEU (@pathieuabc7) August 11, 2020
The charity said they had boarded up the glass windows and doors at the front of the building.
They said none of the patients missed medical appointments or treatments because of the unrest, WBBM reported.
The incident occurred the same night that at least 13 police officers were hurt and countless businesses along Chicago’s Magnificent Mile shopping district were vandalized and looted after an officer-involved shooting of an armed man with a long rap sheet.
Neighbors gathered at the shooting scene on Sunday and quickly became a violent mob, WFLD reported.
Police said people in the crowd began hurling things at officers.
“We do have an officer that was maced by someone in the crowd. We do have an officer that sustained a shoulder injury from the incident with the crowd. One of our vehicles, the windows were shattered by a brick,” Chief Tally told reporters.
Police said the crowd’s outrage was stoked by the claim the 20-year-old man shot by police had been a juvenile, WFLD reported.
In fact, the armed suspect had a history of prior arrests for burglary, child endangerment, and domestic battery, FOX News reported.
After the unrest at the original scene, the violent mob moved down to the city’s Magnificent Mile shopping district at about midnight and began smashing windows there.
Some of the looters arrived with boxes of rocks and bricks to use to break windows.
Chicago Police Superintendent David Brown said 400 police officers in tactical gear were dispatched to the Loop as the caravans of rioters arrived, WBBM reported.
Looters were seen leaving stores with shopping bags full of merchandise they’d stolen, FOX News reported.
At least one U-Haul van was seen pulling up to be loaded with looter’s booty, and in many spots, people were seen loading stolen merchandise into waiting vehicles.
Shots were fired at officers at about 5 a.m., WMAQ reported.
Chicago police tweeted that officers had returned fire near the intersection of Michigan Avenue and Lake Street, but it was unknown if any of the gunmen who had been shooting at police were struck.
No officers were hit during the exchange of gunfire, WMAQ reported.
Superintendent Brown said a security guard and a civilian were struck by gunfire in a separate confrontation during the night, and transported to hospitals in the city.
The superintendent said police recovered five guns on Monday morning, bringing the total of recovered weapons to 149 for the weekend, WMAQ reported.
The police superintendent said 13 police officers were injured during the mayhem, including a sergeant hit with a bottle and an officer whose nose was broken, WMAQ reported.
“What we are seeing is violence against police,” Superintendent Brown said on Monday morning, according to WBBM.
He said nine Chicago police officers had recently been shot.
“This was an act of violence against our police officers and our city,” Superintendent Brown reiterated.
He said he cancelled all days off for police and ordered officers to 12-hour shifts, WBBM reported.
The superintendent said he created a special task force whose job is to review surveillance videos from the looting to make arrests.