Duo charged with 2 CTA robberies, including one that left a victim stabbed at Roosevelt Red Line

Prosecutors have charged two men with committing a pair of robberies on CTA trains Thursday morning, including a mugging at the Roosevelt station that left a victim with stab wounds.

Tyree Walker, 26, and Donta Thomas, a 23-year-old on parole for two 2018 robberies, are each charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of armed robbery. Judge David Navarro ordered both men held without bail during a bond hearing on Christmas Eve.

Donta Thomas (inset left) and Tyree Walker | CPD; Wikicommons

The first robbery took place on a southbound Red Line train as it traveled through the Loop around 6:08 a.m. A 49-year-old man told police that he was seated on the train when three men wearing face masks surrounded him and told him to surrender his belongings, according to a CPD statement and Assistant State’s Attorney Kyle Gruca.

One of the offenders held the victim down while the other two went through his pockets and took his wallet and phone, Gruca said. The victim suffered two stab wounds during a struggle with the offenders.

Gruca said the victim tried to hold the train doors open to keep it from leaving the station with the men on board. But the offenders reportedly dragged the man across the platform and fled to the elevated Orange Line tracks.

While police were speaking with the victim, another CTA passenger reported that three masked men robbed him on an Orange Line train near Halsted, said Gruca. The second victim said an offender asked for money, and a second robber took his phone and removed items from his backpack.

After the robbery, the victim stood up on the train and approached the men to ask for his property back, according to Gruca. But he backed off when one of the offenders turned around and came toward the victim with a knife.

Police used CTA surveillance camera feeds to locate three suspects at the Western Orange Line station who matched the descriptions provided by both victims, Gruca said. All three suspects ran when patrol cars arrived at the station, but police caught Thomas and Walker. The third person got away.

Gruca said CTA videos clearly show Thomas and Walker wearing the same clothing as two of the robbers. Walker had a blue knife inside his pocket, but Gruca said authorities don’t think it was used in the stabbing.

Thomas received two concurrent four-year prison sentences for two robberies in 2018 and was released in April 2020 after serving two years, according to state records. His public defender said he is unemployed, has mental health conditions, and is “getting his life on track.”

Walker has a pending burglary case in Wisconsin.

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