Attack in Chicago's Boystown neighborhood caught on tape

Tue. July 5, 2011 7:33 AM by News Staff

Chicago, IL - A mob attack on a Chicago street that was caught on tape has ramped up complaints in the Boystown neighborhood about increased violence and loitering.

A 25-year-old man was stabbed shortly before midnight on Sunday at Halsted and Aldine and it was all caught on tape.

The video shows the man being punched and kicked by nearly a dozen African American youth, while onlookers cheer them on. The man was stabbed, beaten and even stumbles into the street where the mob attack continued.

John Cunningham and Rob Sall, who recorded the video, said they also tried to break up the fight.

This is the third attack in three weeks in Boystown, which has prompted dozens of people on Facebook to post and join "Taking Back Boystown," a page that discusses the increased violence in the area. Boystown is a mostly gay neighborhood, but lots of young straight families and students also live there.

Two of the three stabbings have been reported near the 7-11 on Halsted and Roscoe.

Boystown residents complain the problems are due to large groups of people from outside the neighborhood loitering throughout the area.

The video has stirred outrage with many posts on YouTube and Facebook indicating the attack was a representation of the problem coming to a boil as the neighborhood tries to deal with safety, loitering and racial tensions.

A "positive loitering" walk drew more than 50 people to the 7-11 parking lot on Saturday, July 2. Racial tensions grew during the event as about 30 protesters from the group Gender JUST accused attendees of policing queer youth of color out of the neighborhood, according to the Windy City Times.

44th Ward Alderman Tom Tunney remains under fire from residents who say the neighborhood is no longer safe.

"There tends to be large groups of minority youths on Halsted. Whether they are patronizing the businesses or not, it's an area where they feel safe. It's a balancing act that we're tying to make it safe for everyone," Tunney told

According to police, the victim was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in good condition.

Police have no one in custody as of Tuesday morning, but say they have extra officers on patrol. Overall, Chicago police said that six people were killed and 28 people stabbed or shot in the city over the holiday weekend stretching from Friday to early Tuesday.

A community policing meeting is scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the 23rd District Police Station at 850 W. Addison.