Just as Pennsylvania has Punxsutawney Phil telling us how many weeks of winter are left before spring, Naperville has a much more accurate method of determining when spring has arrived; a proliferation of liquor-fueled bar brawls busting out in downtown Naperville. Like a fine-tuned Swiss watch, it happened Easter weekend when seven people were arrested during three separate brawls in a period of 24 hours.
What better place to have spring arrive than near the municipal parking deck, when the first official fight broke out at 2:35am April 19. Then with just 3 minutes left in the day at 11:57pm Saturday night, there was another dust-up by Potter’s Place on Jefferson Avenue. By the time that settled down and everybody got hauled away, 30 minutes later on Easter Sunday morning, the final ‘recorded’ fight of the weekend erupted near Bar Louie.
Brawls in downtown Naperville have become common place. It’s actually more of a news event if no one gets arrested in the 14 square block area of downtown Naperville. City officials for the longest time, denied that anyone was getting over-served in that area, but they could only do that for so long, before residents openly questioned whether city officials had lost their collective minds. City officials apparently thought, that if they didn’t acknowledge reality, then it wasn’t really happening. Brilliant on the part of city officials, but it didn’t work.
City officials have now changed their strategy, by admitting that some folks are maybe getting over-served a bit, but boys will be boys, and it did get warm (almost 60 degrees), and it was Easter weekend, and the Cubs almost won a couple of games, and global warming (or cooling) is happening, and the Earth is spinning at 1,000 miles per hour, and gravity is relentless, and you get the idea.
What’s really disturbing about the whole situation, is not that city officials were warned about this happening, and chose to do nothing to curb it, but that they continue to make excuses for its cause, which is too many people, in too small of an area, having too many choices for liquor consumption, too late at night, with too few police officers to show a presence. Let’s face it, what Naperville city officials are doing, isn’t working. Isn’t that the definition of foolishness….doing the same thing over and over and over, and expecting a different result.
Here is the scarey part, throw in a completed Water Street Project into the mix and then every night will be Easter weekend.
Boys will be boys, except when it’s a girl wielding a stiletto heel as a weapon, or a police officer from another town and his family brawling in a bar, or a man stabbing and killing a teacher with a knife, etc. The line keeps moving and “they” keep crossing it.
It didn’t work for Vegas and it won’t work here. You can’t be “family friendly” and “Sin City” at the same time. Vegas made the choice to indulge the adults and their penchants for alcohol, is Naperville also telling people to leave their kids at home, head downtown and get ripped? Hey, tax paying, home owning, kid raising adults – ditch your kids and party with the 20 & 30-somethings or stay home, cuz this isn’t your parents Naperville.