At least 12 teens – ranging in age from 14 through 19 – were involved in various altercations at a village park on Aug. 14.
Skirmishes apparently took place between two groups of white and black male juveniles, resulting in the arrests of two older teens.
Stephen Hyde, 18, of the 10700 block of South Lawler Avenue in Oak Lawn; and Hexdore Randall, 19, of the 5400 block of North Western Avenue in Chicago, were both charged as adults on two counts each of misdemeanor battery.
Hyde and Randall, and their friends, who are black, claim that a fight broke out after the white teens hurled racial slurs at them.
In a police report that was released to the news media on Friday, Oak Lawn Police responded to a disturbance call at Wolfe Wildlife Refuge at 107th Street and Laramie Avenue around 9:22 p.m. last Wednesday.
Some information in the report was redacted because most of those involved, except for the two older teens that were charged as adults, were underage. The Oak Lawn Police Department does not release the names of juvenile under age 17.
Here is a summary of what happened:
Dispatch advised police of two separate callers, both stating they had been jumped in the area near Wolf Wildlife. One of the callers advised that he was punched in the face by five males blacks, reports said.
Police also received another call concerning a third teen stating that he had been jumped at Wolfe Wildlife.
When officers arrived on the scene, they met with four teens that had visible injuries, reports said. Oak Lawn paramedics were summoned to Wolfe Wildlife to provide medical treatment.
According to the report, three of the teens were walking along the trails by the bridge at Wolf Wildlife, when they encountered five black teens.
The three boys, who are white, told police that the black teens “fanned out,” forcing them to walk single file on the trail.
A 15-year-old Chicago boy told police that one of the black teens said something to his friend before he was struck in the back of the head and once in the face, reports said.
These facts were confirmed by the 15-year-old's friend, who added that he was charged from behind and shoved in the back, police said. The second youth also alleged that he struck several times by a black teen.
While police officers were speaking to the injured youths, they noticed five teens that matched the descriptions of their alleged assailants, walking from the bridge along the wooded trails.
A police officer, who was by himself, stopped and handcuffed the five teens, one who was identified as Randall.
Police found the other teen that was charged, Hyde, reportedly hiding on the trail, reports said.
Hyde allegedly told police that he was walking home with his friends and brother, “when a bunch of white kids” started fighting with him. He claimed to have been struck in the face several times by an unknown white youth, police said.
Two other teens that were being detained said they met up with their friends and Hyde who said they had gotten jumped by some “white kids” and were looking for them. Police said both youths insisted they had not been involved in the alleged fight, but had arrived after it had ended.
Another of the five stated that he, Hyde and Hexadore were met by a group of “white boys” near the trails and that one of them shouted some racial slurs. His friend then “pushed one of the white kids,” causing a fight to break out, reports said.
Police said the black youth could not identify which of his friends had pushed the white teen. Instead he ran away when the fight began.
Randall reportedly told police that he was “walking with my godbrother,” through the Wolfe Wildlife trails when they encountered “five to six white boys” who exchanged words with the group.
One of his friends, Randall allegedly told police, “pushed one of the white kids” and a big fight broke out. Police said that Randall admitted to punching three white youths in self-defense.
Police spoke to Hyde, who stated that a white youth accused him of touching a girl with his penis, reports said. He then changed his story to say that the remark had been made the previous day, police said.
Hyde further stated that a group of white kids were yelling racial slurs at him and his friends. One of his friends, Hyde said, pushed a white teen and a fight ensured, according to police.
Police said that Hyde also admitted to punching one or two of the white youths, before hiding behind a bush, where the officer eventually found him.
Another alleged victim, a 14-year-old boy, arrived on the scene, who was soaking wet and muddy up to his waist, reports said.
The 14-year-old said he had been walking along on the trail from the bridge, where was approached by a black teen that was running toward him.
According to the 14-year-old, the black teen punched him, causing him to fall backwards into the creek, police said. During the alleged encounter, his iPhone fell from his pocket.
Police said the 14-year-old was able to positively identify both Hyde and Hexadore; no other identifications were made.
Based on the identifications and alleged statements made by Hyde and Hexadore, bother were placed in custody and taken to the Oak Lawn police station.
The other youths being detained were taken out of handcuffs and released without being charged.
Two youths were taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center where they received medical treatment.
There, a black teen who was being treated for injuries told police he was jumped by a group of white youths who yelled racial slurs.
A detective found the 14-year-old’s cell phone on the trail at Wolf Wildlife.
Both teens are to appear in court on Sept. 27.