|Chad Estep and a surveillance image of the attacker that was released by Chicago police. | CPD|
Chad Estep, the 34-year-old Northwestern University doctoral recipient accused of pushing an unsuspecting stranger onto the Blue Line tracks downtown last year, arrived Friday as one of the newest inmates of Stateville Correctional Center.
Estep last week pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery in a public place for pushing the 46-year-old victim off of the platform and onto the tracks at the Washington station around 11:30 p.m. on August 1, 2017.
Judge Michael McHale sentenced Estep to three years in prison and gave him one day credit for time served. Prosecutors dropped attempted murder and two other felony counts as part of the plea deal.
Estep was married and had recently received his doctorate in neuroscience from Northwestern when he pushed Ben Benedict onto the tracks without provocation. Benedict told the Chicago Tribune that he fell five feet and landed just short of the electrified third rail. When he turned around to get back onto the platform, he saw Estes standing over him “like a lion looking at his prey.”