Concerns raised about students congregating at Nagle & Northwest Hwy while waiting for bus





by BRIAN NADIG

Getting students boarded onto CTA buses quicker near the intersection of Northwest Highway and Nagle Avenue would help reduce problems associated with students congregating in the area, according to 16th (Jefferson Park) Police District.

District captain Hootan Bahmandeji said that it is not uncommon for between 50 and 200 Taft High School students to congregate at or near the Citgo gas station, 5726 N. Nagle Ave. In some instances students reportedly wait for up to 45 minutes for a bus.

The district plans to ask the CTA to schedule buses at the intersection shortly after the dismissal bell, Bahmandeji said. There should be fewer issues of rowdy behavior if the students can be cleared out of the area more quickly, he said.

The CTA has had a similar arrangement with Foreman High School, and the transit agency will have buses lined up outside sporting venues to help disperse crowds, Bahmandeji said.

Plans also are being made for “no trespassing” signs to be posted at the gas station, and anyone refusing to leave the premises will be subject to arrest, Bahmandeji said.

In an Oct. 26 incident, students surrounded a squad car as it was attempting to leave the gas station after officers had responded to a disturbance there, according to police. The students initially ignored the siren and verbal commands to disperse but later moved after additional police units arrived, police said.

During the incident several disparaging statements about police were written on the squad car, and a 16-year-old male student from Taft was arrested, police said.

Over the years concerns about disturbances near the gas station have been periodically raised at Taft Local School Council meetings.

Meanwhile, in an Oct. 18 incident at Schurz High School, a group of students surrounded police officers and shouted derogatory comments about police while the officers were investigating a report of gunshots near the school on the previous day. A 15-year-old male was arrested.