Woman taken to hospital after incident on city parking garage


Colin Boyle/Daily Senior Staffer

An ambulance on the 800 block of Davis Street. Police resolved without injury an incident where a woman was standing on the top of the Sherman Plaza Parking garage Friday.

Ryan Wangman and Julia Esparza

A woman was taken to Skokie Hospital Friday afternoon after she stood close to the edge of a parking garage in downtown Evanston for several hours, police said.

The incident shut down streets in parts of downtown Evanston and was resolved shortly before 4 p.m., EPD Cmdr. Ryan Glew said.

Earlier in the day, EPD received a call from the Glenview Police Department that there was a woman who they feared was a danger to herself and whose cell phone had been tracked to the 1600 block of Orrington Avenue in downtown Evanston, Glew said. He said police, off of a “hunch,” checked security cameras and spotted the woman at the top of the parking garage located across from the CTA Davis station.

About 1:20 p.m., police responded to the public parking garage as the woman was reportedly standing near the edge of the 12-story parking structure, Glew told the Daily. Police worked to resolve the incident for approximately two hours.

Glew said there was no risk to the public and Metra and CTA train schedules were not interrupted. The area re-opened to traffic and pedestrians.

The incident resulted in street closures around the downtown area, including in the area between Benson Avenue and Davis Street and the Davis CTA station, and the 1500 block of Sherman Avenue, according to multiple EPD tweets.

The incident did not involve the Metra or CTA trains or stations, according to an EPD tweet. Some buses were rerouted due to the police presence.

The parking garage is one of several owned by the city. In January 2017, Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) asked city staff to explore security measures for these buildings after multiple incidences of individuals throwing objects from the top of the garages and several suicides.

A previous proposal suggested installing a chain-link fence around the perimeter of the garage, but aldermen doubted it would mitigate the issue and no money was allocated towards its construction.

Concern over safety measures at parking garages in the city drew aldermen’s attention after several deaths in a seven-month span. From November 2013 to May 2014, two people died after falling from the top of Evanston parking garages and one after falling from Optima Views, a condominium building at 1720 Maple Avenue, according to previous Daily reporting.

Aldermen, at the time, denied proposals for fencing or netting on the buildings in a meeting in June 2014, saying the changes wouldn’t be sufficient.

Discussion over possible fencing on city parking garages dates back to 2011, when city staff recommended the city purchase a fence for the Sherman Plaza parking garage. Aldermen voted 1-4 against the purchase, according to city documents.

More recently, Ald. Judy Fiske (1st) asked city staff in January 2017 to explore security measures for these buildings.

The fence would cost the city about $25,000, according to council records from January 2017. Fiske requested more information on the fence at the meeting, but no further action was taken.

“This is a problem that we haven’t looked at adequately,” Fiske said at the meeting. “It’s time for us to turn to professionals and ask what is the best thing that we can do.”

Colin Boyle contributed reporting.

This story was updated with additional information.

A previous version of this story misstated the number of stories in the parking garage. The Sherman Plaza parking garage has 12 stories. The Daily regrets the error.