Man charged with robbing high school students at knifepoint on CTA train

Prosecutors on Saturday charged a man with robbing two teenagers at knifepoint as they rode a CTA train home from school this month. Police arrested Trenton Tidwell, 20, after someone recognized him in photos of the assailant that police distributed to the media.

The victims were heading home from De La Salle Institute in Bronzeville when Tidwell asked them for money on an inbound Green Line train around 5:30 p.m. on September 10, prosecutors said. The students declined, and Tidwell went to a different car, only to return and order the teens to hand over their wallets and phones at knifepoint, according to the allegations.

Trenton Tidwell (left) and images of the robber that were released by Chicago police. | CPD

One of the victims dropped their wallet on the train floor, and both victims ran from the train into the Roosevelt station when Tidwell bent over to pick it up, prosecutors said.

CTA surveillance video recorded the robbery and allegedly showed Tidwell discarding pieces of clothing as he fled at Roosevelt.

Detectives released two images of the suspect from the CTA footage to media outlets in a “seeking to identify” bulletin on September 14. Someone recognized Tidwell from those photos and contacted the police. Both victims picked Tidwell out of photo line-ups, prosecutors said.

Tidwell is charged with two counts of Class X armed robbery. Judge Susana Ortiz set bail at $50,000 and ordered him to go onto electronic monitoring if he can post a 10% deposit.

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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