CTA passengers beat and stabbed a man who assaulted a woman on the Blue Line, report says

William Harris | CPD

CTA passengers apparently beat and stabbed a man who allegedly ripped an 18-year-old college student’s shirt off, pinned her to the floor of a Blue Line train, and then fondled her Wednesday morning in the Loop, according to a CPD report and a witness.

Prosecutors said William Harris, 41, threw his shoes and hard hat at the woman as they rode the train around 10:30 a.m. Harris then stood up, pulled the victim’s shirt down, and began fondling her, according to a CPD report. He then dragged her to the train floor by her hair, straddled her, and continued to fondle her breasts, the report said.

The assault was so forceful, some of the woman’s hair was pulled out.

Officers who responded to calls about the attack found Harris lying on the Washington Blue Line platform with a stab wound to his back, a swollen and blackened left eye, and a knee injury, according to the CPD report. While police took statements from four witnesses who saw the woman get attacked, nobody seemed to know who inflicted the injuries on Harris.

“When police arrived they observed the offender had sustained multiple stab wounds but was being uncooperative,” Officer Michelle Tannehill said. “It was unable to be determined how [he] had been stabbed.”

The woman was not hospitalized, but Harris was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for treatment, according to a CPD report.

Prosecutors charged Harris with felony aggravated battery of a transit passenger. Judge Arthur Willis set his bail at $50,000. Harris must post 10% of that amount to get out of jail. He’s due back in court on October 20.

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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. He can be reached at tim@cwbchicago.com