Armed robbers gave CTA passenger a switchblade, told him to use it so he doesn’t get robbed again: prosecutors

After robbing a man on a CTA train in the Loop, a group of armed robbers gave the victim a switchblade knife and recommended that he use it to prevent becoming a robbery victim again, prosecutors said.

It happened February 22 on a Green Line train at Roosevelt, Assistant State’s Attorney Leonore Carlson said Saturday as she detailed armed robbery charges against 18-year-old Dejon Herring.

Dejon Herring and the Roosevelt station’s Orange and Green Line platform. | CPD; Beyond My Ken via Wikicommons

The victim was alone on a train car, heading home from work, when three males boarded the Green Line around 8:20 a.m., according to Carlson and CPD records.

Herring pointed a silver handgun at the victim, and all three offenders went through the victim’s pockets and bookbag to find valuables, she said. They took three credit cards, a phone, and the man’s Ventra card.

But before they exited at Roosevelt, they gave the victim a switchblade “and recommended the victim use this knife to protect himself to avoid being robbed again,” Carlson said.

CTA video recorded the robbery, and police recognized Herring and one of the other robbers while on patrol the very next day, according to Carlson. Officers stopped them and gathered identifying information, then let them go.

Detectives continued to investigate the robbery and monitored usage of the victim’s Ventra card as one of the robbers continued to use it on the Red and Blue Line, Carlson said.

Officers arrested Herring yesterday to face charges. Carlson said it was his first arrest. Herring allegedly identified himself in CTA images of the robbery but said he didn’t commit the crime — his friend did, and he just happened to be there.

Carlson said one of the other robbers is a juvenile, and the third is an adult who was arrested on unrelated charges in March.

Herring’s public defender said he has a 3-year-old daughter and works at a fast food restaurant.

Judge Maryam Ahmad said Herring must pay a 10% deposit bond in the amount of $20,000 to get out of jail on electronic monitoring.

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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