Cops seek hammer-wielding man in a series of incidents around Boystown

Cops in the Lakeview neighborhood are on the lookout for a man who has been threatening and robbing people while armed with a hammer over the past few days, according to a source. The man is linked to an armed robbery at the Belmont CTA station, threats to bar-goers on the Boystown strip, and the battery of a CTA bus passenger, among other incidents, the source said.

Shortly before 9 p.m. Wednesday, the man chased after a CTA customer while wielding a hammer on the Belmont station’s northbound platform, 945 West Belmont. He threw the victim’s backpack and other property onto the tracks and fled with the man’s phone, according to information provided to CWBChicago.

Witnesses also saw a man running down the station’s stairs with a hammer. Officers drove the victim to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center for treatment.

CPD’s media affairs office was unable to confirm details of the attack Friday morning because the police report had not been finalized, a spokesperson said.

About four hours after the CTA station incident, 911 callers reported that a man was trying to attack people with a hammer along the 3400 block of North Halsted in Boystown, according to dispatch records.

On Thursday evening, a passenger was battered while sitting on a CTA bus on the 3700 block of North Broadway. The offender ran toward Halsted Street and the victim refused to cooperate with police, officers at the scene said. CTA’s security office reportedly linked the bus and train station incidents after reviewing surveillance images of the suspect.

CPD’s strategic support center distributed a bulletin about the man to officers, but he remained at large as of Thursday night. He is described as a Black male in his 30’s. According to witness descriptions, he wore an orange or red shirt with khaki shorts or pants at the Belmont station; no shirt with light-colored pants on Halsted Street; and a black do-rag with red gym shoes on the bus.

According to CPD’s internal bulletin, he is suspected of committing other crimes, including robberies, in the area, a source said.

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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 news@cwbchicago.com