Prosecutors: Man violently attacked woman for 15 minutes on CTA train

Bernard Hightower | CPD

A West Suburban man repeatedly kicked, jumped on, and body-slammed a woman during a 15-minute attack aboard a CTA Blue Line train and a downtown train platform after she failed to perform a sex act for money, prosecutors said. The 34-year-old woman suffered nasal, sinus, and facial fractures during the alleged assault, which unfolded around 2 p.m. Thursday, April 22.

Prosecutors charged Bernard Hightower, 26, of Forest Park with one count of felony aggravated battery causing great bodily harm. The entire attack was captured on CTA surveillance cameras, but no one intervened as Hightower violently assaulted the woman for a quarter-hour, prosecutors said over the weekend.

Hightower didn’t know the woman when they met on the train and she agreed to perform oral sex in exchange for cash, prosecutors said. The attack allegedly began when she refused to follow through on the agreement after accepting payment.

Prosecutors said Hightower sat on the woman and repeatedly punched her in the head and body aboard the Blue Line train. He continued the attack by kicking and jumping on her face and body and then repeatedly picking her up and throwing her onto the train floor, according to the allegations.

The woman eventually managed to crawl onto a platform when the train stopped at Jackson in the Loop, according to police records. But she returned to the train, and Hightower continued the attack by again beating and kicking her head and body and slamming her onto the floor, prosecutors said.

When she again crawled out of the train later, Hightower followed her and kicked her in the head, according to prosecutors. The victim was taken to Loyola University Medical Center for treatment, police said. Hightower was arrested at 2:09 p.m. in Oak Park.

Judge David Navarro set his bail at $10,000, meaning Hightower will need to post $1,000 to get out of jail to await trial on the charge. Separately, Hightower is being held on an outstanding $50,000 warrant for violating terms of conditional discharge in a domestic battery case.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com