A group of teenagers attacked and robbed two people on a Red Line train at the Chicago Avenue station yesterday evening, police said. About 30 minutes later, the same group attacked another man at the Clark-Division stop. CPD has not announced any arrests in connection with the incidents.
Police first responded to the Chicago station, 800 North State, at 8:38 p.m. to handle a complaint of five men holding the train doors open.
When officers arrived, they found two victims who said they had been robbed by a group of five or six men.
Police said the victims, ages 44 and 18, were on the Red Line when the offenders physically attacked them and went through their pockets to take valuables. The group then fled from the train.
EMS took both victims to Northwestern Memorial Hospital to be treated for minor bruising and pain, according to a CPD statement.
Then, around 9:10 p.m., the same group attacked a man on the Clark-Division Red Line platform, 1200 North Clark. According to an officer who reviewed CTA surveillance footage, they boarded a southbound train after the attack and exited at 79th Street around 9:44 p.m.
The officer described four suspects based on the video:
- a Black male wearing red shoes, skinny jeans, and a black coat with a graphic on the back over a hoodie
- a Black male wearing skinny jeans and a winter coat with a graphic
- a Black male dressed in all black clothing
- a Black female wearing black shoes, blue jeans, and a black coat
CPD detectives are investigating the incidents.
As life begins to return to its post-COVID normal, more people are returning to the L. Some of them are discovering that it has changed quite a bit while they were gone.
While ridership declined sharply during COVID, violent crime increased. In fact, there have been more robberies on CTA trains, platforms, and stations downtown this year than during pre-COVID years when commuters packed the trains system.
Last March, CWB Chicago reported that “violent crime reports along the … the Red Line are significantly higher this year than during normal times.” We shared city statistics that showed robberies were up 80% between the Roosevelt and Howard stations compared to 2020. Knife attacks were up markedly, too, we reported.
A local transit advocate called our story “alarmist.”
They are singing a much different tune lately. In January, they wrote about an “epidemic of stabbing incidents” and an “urgent need” to “get serious about addressing the spike in violence against CTA passengers and workers.”