Woman accused of pepper-spraying a bus driver, an Uber driver, and a pedicab driver in the Loop gets probation

Rashanti McShane | CPD

A woman accused of pepper-spraying a pedicab driver, an Uber driver, and a CTA bus driver during a 30-minute spree in the Loop two years ago has been sentenced to probation. Less than a year before the July 2020 incident, Rashanti McShane was held up as an example of how electronic monitoring “exacerbates existing bias in the criminal legal system.”

Prosecutors said it all started when a pedicab driver told McShane, then 31, to stop dancing and sit down as he pedaled her downtown on the evening of July 10, 2020. When the driver asked for payment near the corner of Michigan and Monroe, McShane allegedly sprayed him with pepper spray.

Prosecutors claimed that McShane approached a nearby Uber vehicle and instructed the driver to take her to Boystown. When the driver refused to comply, McShane allegedly pepper-sprayed him as well.

Moments later, McShane allegedly boarded a CTA bus idling near Maggie Daley Park. According to prosecutors, the bus driver told her he was on break, so she pepper-sprayed him, too.

At the time, McShane claimed she pepper-sprayed the pedicab driver because he touched her inappropriately, a public defender said.

This month, McShane pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated battery of a transit employee and received a sentence of two years of mental health probation from Judge Domenica Stephenson, according to court records.

About ten months before the incidents, a social justice group profiled McShane to argue that electronic monitoring exacerbates racist and transphobic biases in the criminal justice system. The story focused on the time McShane spent on electronic monitoring while awaiting trial for three felony counts of aggravated battery.

According to the report, McShane felt “authorities were trying to kill her [by] denying her access to meds, cutting off her food supply, and by plunging her into a deep depression.”

The report said McShane has a “good heart in a cold world.”

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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 news@cwbchicago.com