Chicago police brace for flash mob attacks

[June 9]

Police here are girding for another weekend of "flash mob" attacks after arresting 29 people in connection with a recent rash of assaults and robberies in and around the city's tony shopping and dining district.

Twelve crimes involving large groups of young men were reported last weekend, in addition to others earlier this spring. The incidents are some of the first major problems confronting newly appointed Chicago Police Superintendent Garry McCarthy.

The attacks have received wide attention in Chicago because they have occurred around the city's affluent north side, including near the "Magnificent Mile," a Michigan Avenue strip popular with tourists.

The latest attack occurred early Thursday morning. A spokesman for the Chicago Police Department said the attack involved "multiple" perpetrators near an elevated train platform. Described in the police report as a "strong arm robbery," the group of assailants took the victim's iPad and money and punched him in the face. No arrests have yet been made in that case.

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