The Chicago looting spree that turned downtown into chaos early Monday included vandalism at a Ronald McDonald House housing the families of ailing children.
Damage to the facility included several windows that were smashed. The front door also needed to be boarded up, according to WBBM-TV.
Families that were inside the facility while looters were rampaging through downtown were placed on lockdown.
About 30 families, including some sick children, were inside while looters were helping themselves to high-end items, according to WLS-TV.
“They are already in a really, really difficult spot, and having this kind of additional stress and worry about getting to and from the hospital, even though we are five blocks away because of safety concerns, is just doubling the strain,” Lisa Mitchell of Ronald McDonald House Charities said, according to Fox News.
“[We were] very concerned there was a lot of activity right in front of the house, people making choices that could put them at risk and put our families at risk so the staff was frightened,” she said.
Mitchell said the incident did not impact the care offered to families.
“We’re here for families at all times — whether there’s a pandemic or civil unrest, we need to make sure that we are here allowing families to get the rest they need while they have a child in the hospital seeking care, and so it’s so important that anything that might be going on outside, we maintain our care for families,” she said.
While children’s care might not have been interrupted, the looting did take a toll on them.
Two-year-old Owen Buell, who has been staying at the Ronald McDonald House while he receives treatment for Stage 4 neuroblastoma, was unable to go home to Joliet, Illinois, to celebrate his birthday, WBBM-AM reported.
Downtown businesses weren’t the only ones impacted by looting early Monday morning. A toddler with cancer missed his second birthday at home. https://t.co/i01sDl15pz
— WBBM Newsradio (@WBBMNewsradio) August 11, 2020
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany led the voices of outrage on Twitter.
SAD & UNACCEPTABLE:
“The Ronald McDonald House in Chicago was vandalized during looting early Monday morning while families & their sick children huddled inside.”
The liberal mayor must control her streets!https://t.co/xu1G99LZrV
— Kayleigh McEnany (@PressSec) August 12, 2020
Those “peaceful protesters” that Obama told us about destroyed The Ronald McDonald House while sick children and their families were inside https://t.co/UnWQRNHSKw
— Wayne Dupree Show (@WayneDupreeShow) August 13, 2020
OUTRAGEOUS: Looters target Ronald McDonald House with families and their sick children inside??
The Ronald McDonald House in Streeterville was among the establishments targeted during looting in Chicago early Monday morning. pic.twitter.com/KaYDsx2q8W
— Uncle Sam’s Children (@UncleSamsNation) August 13, 2020
Looting left many angry, while others were saddened that after years of out-of-control shootings, Chicago had finally hit bottom.
“This is a dire, severe emergency and we need action,” Chicago Loop Alliance President and CEO Michael Edwards said, according to WLS-TV.
“It has to stop,” Chicago resident Ashley Jones said, according to WMAQ-TV. “It has to come from the highest level up top. We can’t have our city looking like this.”
“It’s such a beautiful city. It’s just being destroyed in front of our eyes,” resident Maddy Quinn said.
Police have arrested more than 100 people, most of whom are being released on bail, and are combing extensive video of the looting to make more arrests.
“At this point, it’s ‘hey, do the right thing, if you know who did this, look at what the hell happened down there.’ Let’s get these people identified and move on. Get them arrested,” Chicago Police Chief of Detectives Brendan Deenihan said.
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