Judge gives man 2-year sentence for pepper-spraying CTA bus driver(s)

A Chicago man accused of pepper-spraying three CTA bus drivers during six months in 2020 has been sentenced to two years in prison. Erick Robie, 47, pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery of a transit employee in a deal with prosecutors who dropped all other charges, according to court records.

The first attack unfolded on March 31, 2020. In that case, a CTA bus driver reported being pepper-sprayed by a passenger as she drove a #22 Clark bus near Devon Avenue in Edgewater. Robie was arrested nearby after the driver identified him as the assailant, according to CPD records.

Erick Robie | Vil Villa; CPD

He was charged with simple battery and was released from the police station on a recognizance bond.

Then, early on September 2, 2020, a CTA bus driver was pepper-sprayed by a passenger at the Jefferson Park Blue Line station. Prosecutors said that Robie was arrested when he returned to the station a few hours later, and an employee recognized him as the assailant.

Once again, he was only charged with simple battery, and he was again released from the police station on a recognizance bond.

Twelve days later, a CTA bus driver was pepper-sprayed as they drove a #22 Clark bus near Lawrence Avenue in Uptown. The driver later identified Robie as the attacker in a photo lineup, prosecutors said.

That time, the state charged him with felony aggravated battery of a transit employee.

Unlike the previous two cases, Robie was taken to face a judge for a bond hearing. Unfortunately for him, his date was with Judge John Lyke, who had a reputation for being the least-lenient of the county’s six bond court judges.

“You gotta walk, or get a car, or Uber or something,” Lyke said as he held Robie on $100,000 bail.

Judge Tyria Walton oversaw the case and handed Robie his sentence. She also gave him credit for the 459 days he spent in custody before sentencing. By law, the state cut his sentence in half for good behavior, and Robie walked out of Stateville Correctional Center on the same day he arrived, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

Lyke has graduated from bond court duties and now handles criminal cases at the county’s courthouse at 26th and California.

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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