Another ‘L’ knife attack: Homeless man stabbed in neck while sleeping on Red Line in Loop, police say

Police are investigating another knife attack aboard the CTA train system after a man was stabbed in the neck while sleeping on the Red Line downtown overnight. It’s the second stabbing on the Red Line in two days and is at least the fourth stabbing on the train system this month.

The latest attack conjures up memories of last summer when a man was charged with stabbing homeless men as they slept on the Red Line and in Grant Park. A suspect in those attacks is jailed on murder charges.

Police said a 52-year-old man was sleeping on a southbound Red Line when someone stabbed him twice in the neck near the Monroe station around 4:31 a.m. Officers applied pressure to the man’s stab wounds to slow blood loss until EMS arrived. An officer at the scene said the victim appeared to be homeless.

Fire department personnel transported the victim to Northwestern Memorial Hospital, where his condition stabilized, according to police.

On Thursday, a 43-year-old man was stabbed on a Red Line train near Fullerton after getting involved in an argument with another passenger, police said. That victim, who was stabbed in the chin, became uncooperative with the police investigation. He was taken to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center in fair condition, according to CPD.

Area Three detectives are investigating both incidents.

CWBChicago reported in late March that crimes involving knives were being reported at a record pace aboard the CTA train system this year despite a sharp decline in ridership during the COVID pandemic.

The pace has not slowed since our report. As of August 5, Chicago police logged 62 knife-related crimes on CTA trains, stations, and platforms this year. That’s significantly more than any recent year, even though ridership remains low. This year’s knife-related crimes include 26 robberies and 21 stabbings, according to city data.

Among other recent stabbings:

  • On July 28, a woman allegedly stabbed a CTA worker in the neck after he accidentally sprayed her with water while cleaning the State-Lake L platform. Authorities charged the woman with a misdemeanor.
  • On August 2, a man stabbed another CTA passenger in the hand at the Belmont Red Line station. Once again, the alleged attacker is only charged with a misdemeanor.

2020 Serial Attacker

Last summer, four homeless men were stabbed in their necks as they slept in the — two along the Red Line and two in Grant Park. One of the park victims died of his wounds.

Prosecutors charged Bryant McCalip with attacking a 30-year-old homeless man on a bench outside the CTA Red Line station at 63rd Street on July 15; a 53-year-old homeless man near the Grant Skate Park in Grant Park on July 24; a 40-year-old man on a Red Line train at 95th Street on August 18. He is also charged with fatally stabbing a 58-year-old man who was sleeping in Grant Park on July 9, 2020.

McCalip followed the same pattern during each attack, Assistant State’s Attorney James Murphy said during a bond hearing last year: He approached the sleeping victims, stared at them and loitered near them for several minutes, and then stabbed them repeatedly in their necks with a knife that he held in his left hand. The two Grant Park attacks took place about 30 feet apart but on different days.

McCalip is being held in the Cook County jail without bail, according to sheriff’s department records.

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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