An Indiana man who was accused of trying to push a stranger into the path of a CTA train at Roosevelt two years ago because he was angry has been sentenced to probation. Kevin Sukraw, 29, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a transit passenger and multiple arson counts and received his sentence from Judge Peggy Chiampas this month. Prosecutors dropped an attempted murder charge in their agreement with Sukraw.
At around 9:20 a.m. on May 11, 2020, Sukraw followed a woman off an Orange Line train at Roosevelt and tried to push her from the platform, according to court records. The victim “fell, landing within inches of the edge of the platform,” a prosecutor said during Sukraw’s initial bond hearing. She was not seriously injured.
A witness wrapped his arms around Sukraw and detained him until police arrived, prosecutors said. Sukraw, who allegedly told police he pushed the woman because he was angry, underwent a mental health evaluation at Northwestern Memorial Hospital and was released without being charged.
The following month, an arsonist lit a series of dumpster fires in the Chinatown neighborhood. Investigators collected surveillance videos from the area and distributed images of the offender to local patrol officers. Prosecutors said a cop who had previous contact with Sukraw recognized him as the arsonist.
Two months later, police caught up with Sukraw after he allegedly shoplifted and battered someone in River North. Prosecutors said Sukraw’s name “popped” on the attempted murder and arson allegations while he was in custody.
Still, Sukraw was not charged with either the CTA incident or the fires, and CPD records show that he was released from the station on a recognizance bond without even going to court.
Records show two days later, police saw Sukraw in Chinatown and placed him into custody again because they believed he was wanted in the arson investigation. Prosecutors then filed the attempted murder, arson, and related charges.
Asked in 2020 to explain why Sukraw was repeatedly released from custody after the alleged murder attempt, a CPD spokesperson told a reporter to contact the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office (CCSAO) “to find the reason for release.”
In a statement, CCSAO said they weren’t aware of Sukraw until police contacted their felony review unit following his latest arrest.
“After reviewing all of the evidence, we approved felony charges for both the attempt murder which occurred in May and the multiple arson counts from June,” the spokesperson said. “Please contact CPD for information regarding his custody status prior to the August 14, (2020) arrest.”
Sukraw lives in Crown Point, Indiana, according to court records.
Officials there charged him with criminal mischief and reckless conduct in connection with a fire that initially trapped three people in October 2018. The occupants were injured, but survived, according to a contemporaneous Chicago Tribune report.
Sukraw allegedly told investigators he was partying in the building and fell asleep in its foyer with a lit cigarette, according to the Tribune.
He woke up to the smell of smoke and ran away because he had a “bad feeling” that he caused the fire, the paper reported, citing court records.
The outcome of the Indiana case was not immediately available.