Boys basketball tournament action that was supposed to resume Friday at Warren Township High School’s Almond Road campus in Gurnee will occur at another venue because of fights in the stands and outside earlier this week, officials said.
Gurnee police Cmdr. Jay Patrick said Thursday 11 teenagers from Waukegan and North Chicago were arrested as a result of the disturbances that erupted just before the second half of a game between Warren and Lake Forest Academy about 8 p.m. Tuesday. The games were part of the Thanksgiving tournament Warren co-hosts with Mundelein High School.
In the wake of the problems at Warren, the tourney’s final two days have been moved to Mundelein High.
Patrick said Gurnee police officers were summoned to Warren’s gymnasium after two 16-year-old boys from North Chicago fought in the stands. He said the first juvenile was taken into custody and escorted from the gym.
“The second juvenile refused to be handcuffed and held his hands underneath his body,” Patrick said. “It also appeared he was trying to conceal something from the officers.”
Patrick said the teen eventually was seized by officers and that a “very real looking” pellet gun was found on the floor near where he had been lying. He said the first 16-year-old was referred to Lake County juvenile court for disorderly conduct.
Patrick said the other teen was referred to juvenile court for disorderly conduct, unlawful use of a weapon and resisting arrest.
About 30 minutes after the altercation in the stands, Patrick said a large fight broke out among the crowd outside the main entrance to the gymnasium. He said several Gurnee officers who responded to the melee received help from Lake County sheriff’s deputies.
Nine arrests were made stemming from the fights outside the school and that pepper spray had to be used on three of the combatants, according to police. Eight teens were referred to juvenile court for mob action, with one of them also facing an accusation of aggravated battery, Patrick said.
Authorities said Ranesha Gibbons, 18, of North Chicago was charged with mob action.
Patrick said Warren officials had believed “the crowd at the game was agitated,” so the gym was cleared of spectators. After a 35-minute delay, the remainder of the Lake Forest Academy-Warren game was played before only coaches who were scouting the game and media.
In Tuesday’s earlier game, North Chicago beat Waukegan 102-62.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.