Aftermath of Metro PCS, 1320 North Lewis Avenue in Waukegan after it was damaged overnight on May 31 into June 1. | Photo: Waukegan 5th Ward Alderman Edith Newsome.

Police announced that there were 50 businesses looted, dozens of calls of shots fired and 15 people arrested during civil unrest in Waukegan that occurred Sunday night into Monday morning.

What started as peaceful protests in Lake County on Sunday turned into looting and rioting during the evening and overnight hours in Waukegan and Beach Park.

Waukegan Police Department Cmdr. Joe Florip said that the majority of the police department were centered at Glen Flora Avenue and Lewis Avenue where there were violent rioters.

No police officers were injured; however, at least seven law enforcement vehicles were damaged — two Waukegan police cars and five Lake County sheriff squad cars.

One of five Lake County sheriff’s squad cars that was seriously damaged in Waukegan overnight on May 31 into June 1. | Provided photo.

The Lake County Sheriff’s Office said that they sent dozens of sheriff’s deputies to assist the Waukegan Police Department with hundreds of looters.

Five Lake County Sheriff’s Office squad cars sustained significant damage from people who intentionally damaged the cars, the sheriff’s office said. Rioters threw rocks, bricks and bottles at police officers.

Waukegan police officers responded to over a dozen calls of shots fired during the night and one person showed up to an area hospital with a gunshot wound to the leg. They have since been treated and released.

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Florip also said that some of the approximately 50 businesses that were broken into or damaged were looted multiple times.

The following 15 people were arrested:

  • Jessica Arroya, 24, of Grayslake, for looting by an individual
  • Victoria Bradley, 49, of Waukegan, for resisting a peace officer, driving on a suspended or revoked License, and fleeing and eluding
  • Jodaviess Brown, 34, of Waukegan, for burglary
  • Ernesto Flores, 21, who has no given address, for trespassing
  • Modestey Hyatte, 20, of Park City, for burglary
  • Jasmaine James, 28, who has no given address, for disorderly conduct
  • Davel Johnson, 28, of Waukegan, for burglary and looting
  • Julius Mathews, 18, of Waukegan, for looting by an individual
  • Destini Miller, 27, of Waukegan, for looting by an individual
  • Michael Moreino, 44, of Waukegan, for criminal trespass and resisting arrest
  • Dwight Pritchett, 46, of Zion, for criminal damage, criminal trespass to property, obstructing and resisting a peace officer
  • Xania Ruiz, 19, of Waukegan, for disorderly conduct
  • Melinda Urbine, 26, of Waukegan, for looting by an individual
  • Albert Wilson, 29, of Zion, for theft
  • Santiago Zapata, 21, of Waukegan, for disorderly conduct
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A 25-year-old Waukegan woman was also charged with looting by an individual, but her arrest is still pending, police said.

Lake County State’s Attorney Michael Nerheim issued a statement on Monday warning that his office would be aggressively prosecuting those who cause property damage and loot businesses.

“As I indicated in my original statement last week, I strongly condemn the actions of the police officers involved in the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis and any acts of police brutality anywhere. My heart continues to go out to family of Mr. Floyd for their loss,” Nerheim said.

“While I fully support people’s right to peacefully protest and demonstrate, acts of violence in Lake County will not be tolerated,” he said.

Aftermath of rue21 on Lewis Avenue in Waukegan after it was looted overnight on May 31 into June 1. | Photo: Waukegan 5th Ward Alderman Edith Newsome.

Social media videos captured some of the looting and rioting. In one video, numerous people broke the windows to the rue21 store at 1321 North Lewis Avenue in Waukegan and stole armfuls of clothes before running out of the store.

“I want to make it well known that the Lake County State’s Attorney’s Office will aggressively prosecute these offenders and anyone in the future who continues along this destructive path that threatens the safety of the people, law enforcement, or businesses of Lake County,” Nerheim said.

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“Protests are designed to bring about change, but criminal conduct like this deflects attention from these important conversations and positive changes,” he added.

Nerheim said he fully supports the constitutional right of people peacefully protesting as he called for peace in the community.

“The members of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office will continue increased countywide patrols to protect the safety of our residents and businesses. The sheriff’s office will continue working closely with our local and regional law-enforcement partners,” the sheriff’s office said in a statement on Monday.

“I am beyond grateful for the men and women of the Lake County Sheriff’s Office and all of our area law-enforcement personnel who are working diligently to keep the community safe. We will remain steadfast in our efforts to protect the people and property of Lake County,” Sheriff John Idleburg said.