Memorial Day 2022: Arrests at North Avenue Beach reported as Chicago weather draws hundreds to beaches on a perfect summer day

CHICAGO (WLS) — There were several arrests at North Avenue Beach on Monday, as many gathered by the lake to celebrate Memorial Day.

The CPD did not confirm the exact number of arrests, but said the arrests were linked to a number of isolated incidents between bathers. By the end of the day, a large police presence was apparent at many of the city’s beaches.

The video shows a person in handcuffs at North Avenue Beach. Police said several arrests were made there on Monday.

“We kind of saw a ton of police officers and you’re kinda like what’s going on?” said beachgoer Jennifer Gonzales.

Gonzales and his partner said they saw a large police presence on the way to Castaways Bar and Grill in North Avenue Beach.

“We had just come down and we just saw the police here, arresting a kid and they had a gun with them,” Lazrrick Mosley said.

“I was pretty shocked,” Gonzales said. “You wouldn’t expect someone to come in with a gun and be able to walk past the police who were checking our bags.”

A Castaways employee, enjoying his birthday, said he had never heard of an incident like this before.

“I hope nothing like this happens in the future, but I’m glad they got it,” Rhavy Booker said.

Gonzales and Mosley said Castaways was shut down after witnessing the arrest.

“Luckily he was, you know, like arrested,” Gonzales said, “but it’s scary to think what might have happened if they hadn’t caught him.”

Authorities said it would take time to piece together full numbers for arrests made on Monday and throughout Memorial Day weekend, and have yet to confirm witness reports.

Chicagoans flock to beaches on hot Memorial Day

Hundreds kicked off summer in Chicago with a bang.

“It only takes two seconds to warm up. Once you dive into the water, you come out and you’ll be warmer,” said beachgoer Humberto Guardado.
Across the city, Chicagoans flocked to the lakefront to have a good time in the sun.

“Just having fun at the beach. I would say throwing football with a friend. It’s great. Just having fun,” said beachgoer Chris Walus.

READ MORE: Memorial Day parades, Chicago-area events

Temperatures soared into the mid-80s on Memorial Day, a perfect day for swimming, grilling, and outdoor exercise.

“We’re just built for this weather. We’re right here. We’re not trying to avoid the heat. We’re staying in it,” swimmer Joseph Owens said.
“I have chicken, right now, on the grill. I have wings and some beef hot dogs. We have everything,” said Leo Debruce, who was toasting. “Memorial Day is truly special to me and my family. We celebrate our lost loved ones and all of the victims and everyone in the city.”

“It’s great! And, I think when COVID ends, I think everyone is enjoying every minute they can get outside even more,” said cyclist Steven Dufour.

Chicago is still struggling with a shortage of lifeguards. Although they have prioritized filling lifeguard chairs at beaches, the city still hires lifeguards for public pools and offers monetary incentives to anyone interested in the job.

“We still need lifeguards to be able to open our pool system and look forward to this month being productive with hiring,” said Chicago Park District CEO Rosa Escareno.

The beaches are open all summer from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. every day.

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