Charges filed in 8-on-2 Red Line robbery. Cops recognized his tattoos in CTA video, prosecutors say

Prosecutors yesterday said a 19-year-old man was among eight attackers who beat and robbed two passengers on a Red Line train downtown last month. Investigators linked Travonte King to the crimes after several Chicago cops recognized him in surveillance images, thanks to his distinctive tattoos.

Travonte King | CPD; File

The two victims boarded a Red Line train around 1:45 a.m. and sat across from each other while riding north early on May 27. Along the way, eight people entered their car via the emergency exit.

As the train approached Chicago Avenue, a member of the group reached into one victim’s pockets and took his wallet. The other victim intervened, which caused the entire group to begin punching and kicking the second man, prosecutor LaKeya Duncan said.

She said CTA surveillance video showed King swinging at both victims and taking the second man’s watch. King then allegedly went through the first victim’s pockets.

Duncan said both victims suffered bruising and soreness. One of them was treated and released from a hospital.

Investigators distributed images from CTA surveillance videos to police across the city to see if anyone recognized the robbers. A detective and other cops recognized King from “past encounters” thanks to his distinctive tattoos, Duncan said.

Assistant Public Defender Patrick Shine said King has one child.

Judge Barbara Dawkins set bail at $80,000, meaning King must pay an $8,000 deposit to get out of jail on electronic monitoring.

Despite the Chicago Police Department’s claims that CTA crime is down, robberies and other violent crimes are more frequent than during recent years.

From May 1 through June 9, there were 51 robberies reported on CTA trains, platforms, and stations. That’s up from 41 during the same period in 2019 before COVID impacted transit use.

There were 36 robberies during the period last year and 26 in 2020.

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