Robbing a soldier in a downtown mob attack? That’ll get you probation.

Jimmy Williams (L) and Vernon Reeves pleaded guilty to robbing a soldier at the Chicago-State Red Line. | CPD; Wikicommons

Two teenagers have been sentenced to two years probation after pleading guilty to robbing a U.S. Army soldier during a mob incident at the Chicago-State Red Line station on the day after Thanksgiving 2018. At the time of the attack, both men were 18-years-old and on probation for crimes committed as juveniles.

Jimmy Williams and Vernon Reeves each pleaded guilty to one count of robbery in a plea deal approved by Judge William Gamoney. Prosecutors dropped one charge of aggravated battery that had been filed against each of the men as part of the agreement.

Prosecutors in November said a large group of teenagers that police shooed away from Water Tower Place around 2 p.m. on Black Friday wound up beating and robbing the military man inside the State-Chicago Red Line station minutes later.

CPD tactical teams assigned to the L station told a police dispatcher that “a mob went into the subway and wound up robbing somebody.”

That somebody was a 31-year-old soldier who was helping a woman exit the train, prosecutors said. The mob argued with the soldier about being inconvenienced by his courtesy and then attacked, beat, and robbed him as he tried to walk up to street level. The soldier suffered swelling and bruising across his face and body, according to a police report.

Prosecutors said Williams was on probation for crimes committed as a juvenile at the time of the subway robbery. Reeves was on probation for robbery and aggravated battery as a juvenile, according to prosecutors.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is