CTA bus driver who body-slammed man in viral video gets probation

A CTA bus driver who body-slammed a man in a viral video last year has pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor battery, court records show.

The transit agency fired Milan Williams and another bus driver seen in the video, which was recorded early on June 11, 2020, on the 7700 block of South Western Avenue.

Prosecutors said the other driver and a passenger were involved in an extended dispute outside the driver’s bus when Williams intervened by picking the man up and slamming him onto the pavement.

“You better get your ass home, boy,” one of the drivers yelled at the man as he lies on the pavement.

Gregg Smith, Williams’ defense attorney during a bond hearing, said the victim was able to walk two miles to get home after the incident, and the victim didn’t call the police for two days.

Williams had been a CTA bus driver for five years and had never been disciplined by the transit agency, Smith said. The victim and the other driver were in an “extended” fight, and Williams was “acting in defense of others,” according to Smith.

Prosecutors initially charged Williams with felony aggravated battery in a public place, but he pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of misdemeanor battery in exchange for 18 months probation. Judge Michael McHale handled the case.

A man named Lawrence Madden identified himself as the victim in the case.

“I’m going through pain right now, I can’t sleep, I got headaches, depression, paranoid, thinking that somebody’s coming after me,” said Madden in a report aired by a local TV station after charges were filed. “I don’t even want to get on the bus because I feel threatened.”

Madden said the dispute began when the driver of a bus he was riding stopped to talk with another driver who was traveling in the opposite direction.

According to Madden, he wanted the driver to get moving so he could get to his stop.

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