After concert stabbing, Park District want answers from security firm

SUN-TIMES MEDIA WIRE - The Chicago Park District demanded Wednesday that a clout-heavy security company explain how someone managed to smuggle a knife — subsequently used to stab a man and a woman — into a punk concert at Northerly Island, the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.

The latest in a series of violent summer crimes at popular tourist venues started when a 34-year-old woman and a 29-year-old man got into an argument with another male around 9:30 p.m. Tuesday at a bar inside Huntington Bank Pavilion at Northerly Island.

The three were there for a concert by the Dropkick Murphys and Rancid.

The argument spilled into the venue, where the male pulled a knife and stabbed the man in the neck and face, police said. The woman suffered a cut to her abdomen. They were taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where their conditions stabilized.

The male was taken into custody and charges were pending, police said. A knife was recovered.

On Wednesday, Chicago Park District General Counsel Tim King was demanding answers from Monterrey Security, the firm hired by LiveNation to handle security at Northerly Island.

King questioned how anyone could manage to sneak a knife into a concert at Northerly Island when Monterrey Security guards are supposed to use metal-detector wands to screen concert-goers before they enter the popular venue.

“We’re working with LiveNation and police to try to get to the bottom of it. We have to find out what the heck happened,” King said Wednesday.

“Any time somebody gets injured at a Park District event, it’s of utmost concern. Did somebody sneak in a knife in their shoe or throw a knife over the fence? We’re still piecing it together. And if we need to improve security, we will to make certain it’s a completely safe environment.”

King said LiveNation and its security sub-contractor, Monterrey, are working under terms of a ten-year deal “re-upped” four years ago.

The contract requires the venue manager to maintain “adequate security,” including using those detector wands to check all concert-goers for guns, knives or other weapons, King said.

“We keep it vague because tomorrow, industry standards my require bomb-sniffing dogs or a device to detect bomb-making residue on a person’s fingers. It all depends on what’s going on in the world,” King said.

Juan Gaytan, the former Chicago Police officer who owns Monterrey Security, could not be reached for comment.

The firm was once co-owned by former Chicago firefighter Santiago Solis, brother of Ald. Danny Solis (25th), powerful chairman of the City Council’s Zoning Committee.

Monterrey has been at the center of controversy for years because of its parade of government contracts, including Soldier Field security.

In 2001, the company was slapped with a $22,000 fine by state regulators — and placed on two years’ probation — for operating for 21 months without a state license.

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