Monday, July 11, 2005

Chicago Officials Turn Off 'Jesus' Light

EAST CHICAGO, Ind. -- City officials have turned off a streetlight that drew more than 250 people to see a shadow that some say resembles the image of Jesus Christ.

East Chicago Police Chief Angelo Machuca called an emergency meeting Sunday to recommend the light be turned off in the interest of public safety after nearby residents complained about blocked cars and visitors congregating until 5 a.m.

Several arrests were made Friday night after a large fight broke out in the area.

"The city respects everyone's religious beliefs, but it's getting to the point now where it's almost too dangerous" to leave the light on, said Damian Rico, the city's public relations director.

People have flocked to the site since Wednesday, when a woman first claimed to see the image on the side of a tree. The image is only visible at night when the streetlight near the tree is illuminated.

Machuca said his department doesn't have the manpower to maintain regular patrols and control the crowd.

If Chief Machuca had only been reading this blog, he would already know how to pay for the necessary plice presence -- auction off the streetlight on ebay, where this evanescent Jesus could follow his sandwich-bound mother's path to the Golden Palace casino.


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