Parolee charged with battering, robbing 72-year-old tourist at Union Station

A nine-time convicted felon who’s on parole for armed robbery attacked and robbed a 72-year-old tourist inside Union Station last weekend, prosecutors said.

Alex McKay, age 59, is charged with robbery, aggravated battery of a victim over the age of 60, and criminal trespass to state land.

McKay approached the elderly victim in the Union Station food court and asked her for money around 7:00 p.m. Saturday, according to allegations made in bond court Monday. 

The woman, who was waiting to take a train to Alabama, reportedly gave McKay $2 and took him up on an offer to see the Riverwalk. As they neared an exit from the train station, McKay allegedly grabbed money from the woman’s hand, pushed her against a wall, and punched her in the face two times as he wrestled away her purse.

Prosecutors said the victim sprayed deodorant into McKay’s face, causing him to drop the purse and run from the scene with the money he grabbed from her hand.

The woman followed McKay outside and yelled for help. A passerby intervened, and McKay returned her $20, saying it was all a “misunderstanding,” according to prosecutors. Amtrak police officers took him into custody.

McKay was paroled in February 2019 after he served part of a six-year armed robbery sentence he received in 2013. His previous prison sentences include six years for burglary in 2007; three years for attempted burglary in 2001; three years for burglary in 1989; and four years for robbery in 1989.

Judge Susan Ortiz set his bail at $20,000. McKay is also being held without bail while the Illinois Department of Corrections considers revocation of his parole.

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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