Two women reported being sexually abused by the same man at a North Side CTA station within an hour Monday afternoon, but neither woman filed a police report, and the man has not been detained.
A CWBChicago writer witnessed one of the assaults as it unfolded on a staircase to the northbound platform at North-Clybourn around 12:52 p.m. As he approached the top of the stairs, a woman began screaming for help from below.
Within a split-second, a man emerged from the staircase, walked swiftly past him, and headed to the southbound platform. The woman, who was standing halfway down the stairs with her property strewn on the steps, yelled, “He touched me!”
As she headed up to the CTA employee booth at street level, our writer went to the southbound platform to take pictures of the offender – who appears to have a mental health condition — so responding officers could quickly share a description via radio.
But the police were never called.
“I have some pix for the police,” the writer told the victim and a CTA worker.
“She don’t want the police,” the transit employee said as the victim cried and nursed an injured finger.
Officers were never called — at least not until the man inappropriately touched another woman on the southbound platform about 45 minutes later.
CPD spokesperson Karie James confirmed that officers were called to the North-Clybourn station at 1:38 p.m. after receiving reports of a “male walking around [the] CTA platform touching females inappropriately.” According to dispatch records, a description of the offender matched the man’s appearance in the first incident.
Police responded, but they didn’t find the man and the call was “coded out” without a report, James said.
“We take these crimes extremely serious and ask any victims to come forward and make a report,” CPD’s Mass Transit Unit said via Twitter on Tuesday. “The police would like to be able to charge this individual with the highest charge possible but without a victim the likelihood of a felony charge is unlikely.”
A law enforcement source said the man is known to police and has been linked to similar incidents, but many victims don’t stick around to file reports. When reports have been filed, police have been unable to locate him.