CTA crime is once again the topic of the day.
Murders on the city’s transit system were up 33% last year. Shootings up 64%. Sexual assaults up 300%. Robberies up 9%. Stabbings up 24%. All while ridership was down over 3%.
Yesterday, the city promised to get it all fixed. Again.
So, let’s say “hello” to the Chicago Police Department’s “Top Ten Persons Of Interest” for public transportation crimes.
There’s a 16-year-old boy who already has 12 felony arrests on his record.
There’s the 59-year-old man with 50 arrests and a murder conviction.
Inexplicably, there’s a guy who has been sitting in Cook County jail without bail since September.
And, on a positive note, the first guy on the list was arrested and charged with robbery this week.
CPD’s “Top Ten” transit suspects are profiled on a department flier provided to CWB by a source. They are all linked to robberies. Four of them are juveniles.
The first person profiled on the bulletin is Miguel Hecavarria. Prosecutors charged him this week with robbing a man at gunpoint on the Red Line near Chicago Avenue after escaping from electronic monitoring. Prosecutors said they also expect to charge him with at least one other robbery on the Green Line.
CPD’s flyer said he was suspected of committing “several” robberies with a chrome-plated revolver on Red and Green Line trains
We are not publishing the names or photographs of other “honorees” because they are listed only as persons of interest but here is what the bulletin says about some of them:
- A 16-year-old boy “has been linked to several robberies including while being with a knife” on the Purple and Red Lines. He was charged with a Red Line robbery on October 29, the bulletin said.
- An 18-year-old woman who has been arrested for robberies on the Blue and Red Lines in the past is “known to have used force to snatch passengers’ belongings.”
- A 17-year-old boy who has 13 arrests for crimes like aggravated robbery, assault, and battery, is suspected of committing several robberies on CTA trains while armed with a knife, the bulletin said. He was arrested last April for an aggravated robbery on the Blue Line.
- Another 17-year-old boy who has two felony arrests, including one for armed robbery with a firearm on the Blue Line and one for armed carjacking, is “known to frequent the CTA” and was most recently arrested at the Jackson Red Line, according to the list.
- A 16-year-old boy with 26 arrests, 12 of which are for felonies, “has been linked to multiple robbery patterns” on the CTA train system, the bulletin said. Some of his felony arrests have been robbery, aggravated battery, and theft.
- A 19-year-old man who “was on the scene of a homicide that occurred on the Red Line” has been linked to several robberies on the train system and an auto theft at the 95th Street station, according to the bulletin.
- A 59-year-old convicted murderer with 50 previous arrests frequents the Jackson Red Line platform and is suspected of robbery and battery, the bulletin said.
The tenth person on the list may be familiar to many people. He’s Mekiel Hampton, who has been held without bail in Cook County jail since prosecutors charged him with violently beating and robbing two men in the middle of State Street last summer. The attack was captured on CPD surveillance video that went viral after CWB published the footage.
Hampton is charged with robbery and two counts of aggravated battery causing great bodily harm in the State Street attacks. The CTA bulletin said he “has been a suspect in several robberies and aggravated batteries that have occurred on the CTA Red Line.” But he has not been charged with any such crime.
The city will now try to reverse the CTA’s entrenched crime problem by deploying around-the-clock unarmed security contractors and increasing police patrols.
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