Man with long history of trouble along Red Line is charged with violent robbery on Jackson platform

Sims | CPD

A man with a long history of sparking trouble and violence in the Loop and near the Chicago Red Line station is now charged with participating in a violent robbery at the Jackson Red Line station in November. He also just happens to have served prison time for another violent robbery on the Red Line in 2015.

Roderrick K. Sims racked up eight separate arrests near the Red Line downtown last year. And he was supposed to be on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial for one of those incidents when he allegedly skipped bail and brutally attacked a 37-year-old man with four other offenders around 10:50 p.m. on Nov. 29.

Police arrested Sims outside the McDonald’s at 10 East Chicago on Dec. 27 after they recognized him from CTA surveillance images of the robbery offenders.

The victim told police that he was on the Red Line platform at 200 South State when five men approached him, grabbed him by the legs, pushed him to the ground, and beat him. The man struck his face on the platform, and the offenders then began taking his valuables, according to CPD spokesperson Michelle Tannehill.

Surveillance images of three men sought in connection with the Nov. 29, 2019, robbery of a CTA passenger on the Jackson Red Line platform. | Chicago Police Department

The offenders fled onto a southbound train with a suitcase, a blue and black bag, and a leather bag belonging to the man, according to Tannehill and details in a police report.

Police released surveillance images of three suspects about a week later.

Prosecutors charged Sims with one count of felony robbery. Judge Mary Marubio set bail at $100,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a $10,000 deposit bond.

Familiar face

Sims is a well-known among businesses and residents near the Chicago Red Line station and in the Loop.

On Apr. 23, prosecutors charged him with reckless conduct after he took part in a large brawl outside the Red Line station at Chicago and State. He received a sentence of eight days time served.

On July 5, police in the Loop said they saw him running into traffic and physically fighting with random people on the street during a large group disturbance near the Madison Red Line station. When officers caught up with him, Sims allegedly balled up his fists and said, “touch me again and I’ll f*ck you up!”

Sims then instructed bystanders to begin recording the situation on their phones, and he again balled up his fists and verbally threatened the police, officers said.

Once Sims was in custody, a man approached officers to report that he had stolen money from him minutes earlier.

Prosecutors charged Sims with resisting police, assault, theft, and reckless conduct. A judge released him on a recognizance bond and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring, according to court records.

Sims skipped court and went AWOL in the case on Nov. 26, three days before the Jackson Red Line robbery unfolded.

Arrested again and again

Between July 5 and Nov. 26, Sims was arrested and charged with new crimes three separate times. And judges released him on his own recognizance each time.

On July 17, he was charged with battering people at the Starbucks, 42 East Chicago. The charges were later dropped. 

On Sept. 23, he shoplifted from a convenience store near the Adams Red Line station where he had previously been banned from entering. Prosecutors said he verbally threatened “to slap the sh*t out of” the store employees if they intervened in the theft. He pleaded guilty to retail theft about a month later and received a six-month conditional discharge.

On Oct. 27, Sims was again arrested at the Starbucks on Chicago Avenue for obstruction of identification.

A violent past

State records show that Sims received an 18-month sentence for participating in a violent robbery at the Chicago Red Line station on Aug. 20, 2015. In that case, a 20-year-old man was attacked from behind by five men who beat him in the face and body before stealing his phone and baseball hat. Prosecutors agreed to reduce the robbery charge to mob action in exchange for Sims’ guilty plea.

In Nov. 2017, Sims was accused of burglarizing a home on the 500 block of East Chestnut. Prosecutors said he confronted a resident inside the house, beat the man with his fists, and took $200 cash from the victim’s pants pockets. He then punched out a TV screen and fled, police said at the time. 

The victims refused to pursue felony charges, and Sims wound up getting a sentence of 15 days time served for criminal damage to property.

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