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Go Bananas' Violent History Stretches Years

By Natalie Hayes

CHICAGO (CBS)—Records show police were called to Go Bananas, a kids' indoor amusement Park in Norridge, more than 30 times during a 12 month period in 2015 and 2016.

Police calls range from battery and theft to counterfeit currency and fights. Go Bananas is under fire this week after a video of two women fighting as children played nearby was aired on Facebook.

The video of the fight, posted Saturday, shows two women hitting each other and large objects being tossed around inside Go Bananas, an indoor amusement park on the 4500 block of North Harlem Avenue in Norridge.

In the video, a woman holding a young child is seen running past the debacle. The video of the fight is the latest in a string of incidents that have been reported at the business in recent years.

In 2011, Go Bananas made national headlines when a 3-year-old child slipped out of a ride and was killed.

Many in the community, including Norridge Mayor James Chmura, have been complaining about problems at the business for years.

As the only longtime business left standing in a long-blighted property formerly occupied by the shuttered Norridge Theater, Go Bananas is now surrounded by a slate of family-friendly businesses including an AMC theater and a family-style chain restaurant, Miller's Ale House.

Most of the fights detailed in Norridge police report have broken out either inside the 25,000-square-foot arcade center or outside in the parking lot.

The disputes typically involve parents quarreling about issues involving their kids.

During one disturbance in April 2016, a 23-year-old man and a 26-year-old woman accused each other of punching one another in the face in the parking lot after the woman accused the man of stealing her child's coat.

Police were back at Go Bananas the next day, when the parent of a 13-year-old boy started a verbal altercation with a 24-year-old she accused of yelling at her son.

In August 2015, another fight broke out between a man and a woman who started yelling at each other for unknown reasons

No arrests were made in either of those incidents, according to police.

Another fight that broke out in February 2016 spilled out of the building and into the parking lot, where someone called police to report that a mob of  between 10 and 20 people had started arguing. Police broke up the fight, and no one was arrested, according to police records.

In 2014, Norridge police charged 27-year-old Reed Klevester of Chicago with battery after he allegedly pushed ahead of a group of children waiting in line for an amusement ride. He allegedly hit a woman in the arm after she confronted him about cutting in line in front of the kids, according to police.

In August of 2015, someone called police after seeing two men smoking marijuana in a gold Pontiac minivan, police said. The men, who the caller said were waiting for their kids, were gone by the time police arrived.

The community is now backing a proposal to close down the amusement center with a petition called "Support the closure of Go Bananas in Norridge."

The petition has received more than 3,000 signatures since it appeared on It calls on Go Bananas owner Jerrold Marks to close the business.

CBS 2 reached out to Marks but did not hear back.



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