|Derrick McMath (inset) and CTA surveillance images of the attack. | Chicago Police Dept|
A southwest suburban man has been charged with sucker-punching a 67-year-old woman as she read her Kindle aboard the Red Line late Thursday morning. Cops arrested 28-year-old Derrick McMath around 2:45 p.m. on Friday after he allegedly ran out of a Logan Square store without paying for a pair of shoes, police said in a statement. Arresting officers recognized McMath as the CTA assailant whose photo had been distributed to the media less than an hour earlier.
McMath is charged with felony aggravated battery-great bodily harm to a person over age sixty and misdemeanor retail theft. Judge Stephanie Miller ordered him held without bail on Sunday afternoon.
The woman may lose her eyesight as a result of the attack, CPD Chief Communications Officer Anthony Guglielmi said.
An archived report from the Daily Southtown says McMath was charged with battery on April 5 after he allegedly “punched a man in the face numerous times” in suburban Chicago Ridge. The Chicago Ridge Police Department did not immediately respond to an inquiry about the April case.
Just before noon on Thursday, McMath was riding a northbound Red Line train when he suddenly wound up his fist and punched the victim in the face, police said, calling the attack “vicious” and “brutal.” The attack was completely unprovoked and the woman suffered a serious injury to her eye that threatens her vision, police said.
McMath exited the train at the Jarvis station after the attack and walked away, according to authorities.
Police said today that McMath is a felon who was convicted of unlawful use of a weapon in March 2008.
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