Two teens say they were attacked in a Chicago park this past week over chalking “Biden 2020” on the ground with some children they were babysitting at the time.
Alexis Hadac said she and her friend Haylee Sandoval were approached by a woman and a young man believed to be her son at the Women’s Park in the South Loop on Wednesday. The woman took issue with a small chalk drawing they had made in support of President-elect Joe Biden’s candidacy.
Video of the confrontation shows the woman telling them that her husband is a cop and insisting their writing is “insulting.” She goes on to insist it’s “her” park and that she pays more in taxes than the two 19-year-olds as if that somehow gives her more claim over public property.
Hadac eventually asks the woman for her name, but instead of responding, the woman—who is not wearing a mask—gets right up in Hadac’s face and appears to assault her in some way with her jacket.
Hadac pushes the woman off of her and tells Sandoval to call the police. The woman immediately turns and begins rushing away, but Hadac follows her. She then turns back around and the recording becomes shaky as she seems to attack Hadac, who is still screaming for her friend to call the police, once again.
“I told my friend, I’m like ‘Call 911, I’m gonna follow her,” Hadac told FOX32 Chicago. “As I start following her, we get maybe four feet, that’s when she turned around and grabbed me by the side of my hair, and she’s, you know, she’s pulling my hair and she’s trying to hit me in my face and my neck, my, anywhere she can hit me. And then, finally, I am able to get her off me so we kind of fall into the bushes. She fell down first.”
She also told Block Club Chicago that the young man stepped on her, kicked her, and punched her and did the same to her friend when she tried to intervene to make him stop.
A police officer Hadac believes must have been the woman’s husband was reportedly waiting for her outside of the park and helped her get away before the police responded to the teens’ call for help.
Hadac and Sandoval both say they suffered injuries during the altercation, though the children they were watching were able to stay out of harm’s way.
The community has rallied around the women, showing support by holding a chalk party on Saturday at the park where they were attacked.
“The event is a show of support for Alexis to let her know that we as a neighborhood take seriously what happened and that she is welcomed here and that anyone is welcome in a Chicago public park,” Scott Monaghan, a community member hosting the event, told Book Club Chicago. “Using chalk in Chicago public parks is something you should feel safe and comfortable doing.”
Hadac says she has heard from at least 10 people in the area who have also had heated interactions with the woman in the video.
A police report has been filed, and an investigation into the identity of the woman is supposedly underway.
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*First Published: Nov 7, 2020, 4:57 pm
Rachel Kiley is a writer who sometimes writes things and sometimes is based in L.A., but is definitely always on Twitter @rachelkiley.