Chicago police arrested and ticketed a man for surfing in the frigid waters of Lake Michigan.
Rex Flodstrom, 40, was ticketed Tuesday for surfing more than 50 yards from shore, unlawful presence on a closed beach and jeopardizing the safety of others on the beach.
“I was surfing and saw a couple of guys on the beach and thought that they were spectators…I figured they might be friends or just someone checking it out. Then I noticed a car and a couple others pull up,” said Flodstrom in a video interview with a FOX affiliate station in Chicago.
“When it was time to come in I didn’t know it was going to be a big situation, but I walked onto a hostile beach. They immediately grabbed me, handcuffed me, took me to the station and the regular police stuff…I was thinking this was insane.”
To add insult to injury, police also confiscated his surfboard.
Police said they received a call about 5 p.m. about a man in the lake near the Oak Street Beach and found Flodstrom on his surfboard.
The temperature in Chicago at the time of the incident was in the upper 20s, the National Weather Service reported.
“Lifeguards are no longer on duty and swimming is discouraged at all beaches,” the Chicago Park District Web site said of the beach.
Until recently, surfing was completely banned in Chicago. The law was reportedly enacted after a deadly tragedy that involved three girls and an inflatable raft.
But in 2009, backed by efforts from a group that would later become the Surfrider Foundation Chicago Chapter, the city lifted the ban on surfing in certain beaches.
Presently, there are four breaks accessible to surfers in the winter months while two breaks are accessible in the summer.
According to Mitch McNeil, the vice chairman of the Chicago chapter of the Surfrider Foundation, the break that Flodstrom was surfing at, Oak Street, was considered off limits.
When asked if the session was worth the jail time, Flodstrom chuckled.
“Yeah, it was actually pretty good…for a lake. But yeah, if I were able to surf my home spot and go take a hot shower, then it would’ve been a great session. But if I’d had known that I would be arrested and would have to spend four hours in a holding cell in a freezing wetsuit, then I probably wouldn’t have paddled out.”
Beaches are scheduled to reopen May 25.
Police in Chicago are investigating the posting to Facebook of a photo that appears to show a young girl with her hands and legs bound and her mouth covered with tape.
The picture was recently posted to the Facebook page of Andre Curry, a 21-year-old Chicago man. The photo carried the notation, “This is wut happens wen my baby hits me back. ; ).”
Hours after the photo was originally posted, a Facebook friend of Curry’s wrote, “U goin to jail.” Je’Vanna Cobbins, a second Facebook friend, wrote, “really??? Dre.”
Cobbins, a Chicago resident, told TSG she believes Curry was just “playing around,” adding that, “I wouldn’t say it was child abuse.” Cobbins said that Curry–who once dated her sister–would “never do anything to harm anyone.” While noting that the image went “a bit too far,” Cobbins added that Curry was “being playful with his child. People play with their child differently.”
The disturbing image–which began to circulate online over the past several days–apparently prompted calls to cops. A Chicago Police Department spokesman today told TSG that “detectives are looking into it.”
Curry did not respond to a message sent via his Facebook page (where photos are only available to his friends).
In a phone interview, Curry’s grandmother said that he is father to a young daughter, but added that she knew nothing about the Facebook photo.
Two suburban Chicago high school students raised money for a non-profit coffee shop by torturing fellow students by repeatedly playing a Justin Bieber song over the school’s loudspeaker.
Evanston Township High School seniors Charlotte Runzel and Jesse Chatz said they received permission from administrators to blast Bieber’s hit song “Baby” at the end of each class period and told classmates the musical torture would end when they reached their fundraising goal of $1,000.
The teenagers said they raised the cash in just three days for the non-profit Boocoo coffee shop and cultural center, which also has a performance space and provides music, dance and other lessons.
“It made me smile to look at what we can do and look at the money we are raising,” Chatz said.
Alicia Hempfling, Boocoo’s administrator, said she and the shop’s workers were grateful for the students’ efforts.
“People who work here … are just incredibly moved by the fact that these kids came to us and wanted to help out Boocoo,” Hempfling said.
Hempfling said Boocoo will be providing the high school with its performance space free of charge for the presentation of senior projects.
The Halloween season has brought on real-life creepy-crawlers in the form of spiders on Chicago skyscraper’s highest floors.
Mead Elliott, broadcast facilities manager for the John Hancock Center, said the fall season is a “spider fest” at the top of the building.
“They are crawling everywhere, they are coming down on their strings everywhere, there are a lot of dead carcasses around — it’s like a haunted house,” he said. “It’s really weird seeing so many. You scratch your head, literally and figuratively.”
Gary Michon, general manager of U.S. Equities Asset Management, the managing agent for the Willis Tower, said running the building’s window washing system every day helps control the spider problem at high altitudes.
“It’s more of a nuisance to the tenants,” Michon said of the spiders. “They are paying for great views; the last thing they want to do is look out their window and see a big web.”
Petra Sierwald, associate curator of insects at Chicago’s Field Museum, said most spiders reach the high altitudes by letting out a small amount of silk and riding on air currents to the tops of the skyscrapers.
It’s now legal to swear in public in the Chicago suburb of Park Ridge.
Park Ridge City Council just eliminated an old law that made it illegal to use profanity in any street, alley or public place.
Park Ridge Police Chief Frank Kaminski says it becomes a freedom-of-speech issue when there is an anti-swearing law on the books, even when it isn’t enforced.
Also dropped from the city’s roster of laws was part of a disorderly-conduct ordinance outlawing the use of “abusive or obscene language” and gestures.
Kaminski says the city is also going to look at other questionable laws, like one that bars people from wearing clothing belonging to the opposite gender.
Chicago is know by many different names: the Second City, the Windy City but when it comes to mustaches, it is No. 1.
The St. Louis-based American Mustache Institute on Wednesday proclaimed Chicago the most “mustache-friendly” city in America.
For the honor, Chicago will host the institute’s annual `Stache Bash charitable benefit on Oct. 28.
The tongue-in-cheek institute interviewed 200 “mustached Americans” in 100 cities to determine the most mustache-friendly locale.
The institute’s chairman, Aaron Perlut, says the heritage of retired Chicago Bears players who continue to wear mustaches helped set Chicago apart.
Houston came in second place, followed by Pittsburgh, Oklahoma City, Okla., and Detroit.
The `Stache Bash event will be at Joe’s Bar in Chicago and will help raise awareness and funds for cancers affecting men.