1 arrested after groups attacked 3 Red Line passengers in the Loop on Sunday evening

Police are investigating two robberies in which groups of people reportedly attacked victims on the Red Line downtown Sunday evening. Officers detained a suspect after the second incident.

Around 6:30 p.m., three men pushed and robbed a 20-year-old man of his phone as he stood on the Jackson Red Line platform, 230 South State, according to a police report. A police spokesperson said the victim was not injured and the robbers got away. CPD did not release descriptions of the suspects.

Passengers wait for a Red Line train at the Jackson station in June 2019. | File

Then, around 9 p.m., a man and his girlfriend were physically attacked and robbed by five or six assailants on a Red Line train between the Lake and Monroe stations, a second police report said. Police took one suspect, a woman, into custody at the Jackson platform a short time later. The others got away.

Nearly one-third of all robberies reported in the Central (1st) Police District this year have occurred on the CTA train system, according to the city’s data portal. That compares to 27% last year, 24% in 2020, and 22% in 2019, the most recent year not affected by COVID.

As of March 12, the Jackson Red Line and the Roosevelt station saw seven robberies each this year. Roosevelt, a much larger station, serves the Red, Orange, and Green Line.

Police have been making arrests for some of the crimes, too:

  • Xavier Lyons, on parole for a Lakeview robbery, was one of three offenders who robbed a man at gun- and knifepoint on the Red Line at Roosevelt on February 22, prosecutors said.
  • Christopher Bennett, 18, is charged with recent robberies on the Red Line at Chicago Avenue and Harrison as well as a robbery on the Green Line at Central.
  • Nygel Goodman, 20, and two juveniles attacked and robbed a Red Line passenger on a train at Jackson on March 3, prosecutors said.

Mayor Lori Lightfoot, CPD Supt. David Brown, and CTA President Dorval Carter announced plans on March 9 for yet another security initiative to address ongoing crime issues across the city’s transit system.

Last year on CTA, murders increased 33% from 3 to 4; shootings rose from 4 to 11; sexual assaults soared from 4 to 11; robberies jumped from 453 to 492, and stabbings increased from 41 to 51.

During the March 9 press conference, Brown claimed crime on CTA declined 11% last year. In fact, it did. For example, police made 62 fewer narcotics arrests. There were 31 fewer deceptive practice cases (turnstile jumpers, mostly); CTA filed 172 fewer graffiti complaints, and 88 fewer people were arrested for trespassing.

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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