HAMMOND | Three men suffered broken bones and lacerations at the hands of an angry mob in an apparent "lake rage" incident just offshore from Lakefront Beach over the weekend, police said.
The men, from St. John and Hammond, were getting ready to call it a day shortly before 6 p.m. Saturday, they said, preparing their 38-foot cigarette boat for a return to the Hammond Marina, when a cruiser loaded with as many as a dozen people rode in from the Illinois side.
Witnesses told police the skipper of the cruiser apparently didn't know how to control his boat, with young swimmers dodging out of the craft's path as it drifted toward the anchored cigarette boat.
The victims said they were in the water, attempting to guide the cruiser away from the other boats, when someone on board took offense, and suddenly seven to 10 men -- some armed with beer bottles -- jumped into the water and attacked them.
"There were people all over the place," one of the victims recalled of the brief melee, which was captured on video and in photographs by several stunned onlookers.
The attackers then jumped back into the cruiser, which turned around on a full-throttle course back toward Chicago, witnesses said, leaving a 59-year-old man with broken cheek bones and two others with wounds requiring stitches and staples.
Because the attack occurred slightly more than 20 yards off the Lake Michigan shore, the Lake County sheriff's police are investigating the incident.
The victims said they are recovering from their injuries, and are scheduled to meet with sheriff's detectives Thursday.