Group beats, robs passenger on Red Line, police say

A group of up to eight offenders beat and robbed a 61-year-old man aboard a Red Line train in River North Friday morning, police said. Earlier in the morning, another group robbed a man of his backpack and phone on the Blue Line downtown.

The incidents and other recent reports reinforce a Chicago Tribune finding that the CTA train system’s violent crime rate has doubled despite having significantly fewer riders during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most recently, the 61-year-old was riding the Red Line around 5:20 a.m. when a group of about eight young men battered him and took his wallet at the Grand Red Line station, according to CPD spokesperson Kellie Bartoli.

He sought help after exiting the train at Van Buren. Fire department personnel treated him for his injuries at the scene, Bartoli said.

She said the suspects are several Black males between 18- and 22-years-old. Police searched for the offenders in a pedestrian tunnel that links the Red and Blue Line trains, but no arrests were made.

Around 12:30 a.m. Friday, a group of four young men or teenagers approached a man on the Blue Line near Washington. The group told the victim, who’s in his 40’s, to hand over his backpack and phone. He complied and the offenders fled, according to Chicago police.

The Blue Line victim was not injured, police said.

On Sunday night, at least three CTA passengers were struck with a baseball bat, sprayed with mace, or both by a pair of offenders who committed a series of attacks on the Red Line between downtown and Howard Street. Several other passengers reported being threatened by the pair. You can read more about those cases here.

No charges have been filed in any of the incidents.

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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