A good Samaritan who tried to help a homeless man who was being harassed by a group of people on the Red Line wound up being viciously beaten and robbed when the pack turned on him during a train ride last week, authorities said.
On Monday, prosecutors presented felony charges against two men who were tracked down by police — both have criminal records, and one has 12 felony and 15 misdemeanor convictions in his background.
Around 11:50 p.m. last Monday, October 12, a man boarded a northbound Red Line train at 47th Street and saw a group of people “messing with” a homeless man who was sleeping on the other end of the car, prosecutors said. Some of the people were going through the homeless man’s pockets. Others were trying to take off his shoes.
The soon-to-be victim screamed across the car for the group to leave the man alone. He then approached the train’s security call button to summon help.
At that point, prosecutors say, 43-year-old Lijah Graham punched him in the face, causing the victim to fall onto a seat. Jason Jordan, 29, then joined the attack by punching the victim in his head and face repeatedly, authorities said.
The rest of the group then joined in the attack. One of them kicked the victim in his face. The entire crew then surrounded the man and dragged him all the way down the car to where the homeless man was sitting. There, Jordan and Graham began beating the victim repeatedly, striking him all over his body, according to prosecutors.
While the man was being beaten, someone took control of his shoulder bag, which contained a laptop and cash. CTA surveillance cameras at the Roosevelt station allegedly captured footage of Jordan leaving the train with the victim’s bag. Another camera showed Graham walking out of the station with it, the state alleged.
Cameras aboard the train recorded the entire attack, according to prosecutors.
An ambulance transported the victim to Northwestern Memorial Hospital with bruises to his face and head, chipped teeth, and multiple lacerations.
CPD transit officers recognized Jordan and Graham from previous incidents on the train system, and investigators tracked them down. Police said both men admitted to being on the train, punching the victim, and possessing his bag.
Prosecutors charged both men with felony robbery.
Jordan, who has two felony and five misdemeanor convictions, was ordered held without bail on an unrelated warrant. Judge Charles Beach set his bail in the robbery case at $100,000. If Jordan becomes eligible for release, he’ll need to post a $10,000 deposit bond and go onto electronic monitoring to get out of jail before trial.
Graham, a 12-time convicted felon with 15 misdemeanor convictions in his past, was ordered held without bail for violating the terms of his release on pending domestic battery and trespassing cases. If he becomes eligible for bail, he’ll need to post $25,000 of the $250,000 bail that Beach ordered in the robbery case. Graham will also be required to go onto electronic monitoring, Beach said.