Man robbed Red Line passenger 3 months after being arrested for having a gun on the Red Line, prosecutors say

A man who was wanted on a warrant for allegedly possessing a handgun at a South Side Red Line station is back in custody, accused of robbing a man on a Red Line train in the Loop, according to Chicago police.

Romeo Barner, 18, appeared in felony bond court Sunday afternoon. He was one of four people who appeared during the court session to face allegations of committing robberies on the Chicago transit system.

Barner and two others allegedly robbed a 29-year-old man on the Red Line near Roosevelt around 7:30 p.m. on October 30.

The victim told police that Barner and two others were on his train car when Barner commented that he liked the chain the victim was wearing, prosecutors said. That comment made the victim feel unsafe, so he moved to a different train car, but the trio followed him.

Romeo Barner | CPD; CPD Transit

In the second car, a woman grabbed the chain from the man’s neck, and all three offenders began punching the victim in the face and body. Prosecutors said the victim tried to push the offenders off the train, but they continued attacking him until he moved to a third car.

The victim suffered a black eye, bruises, and cuts to his face. His pendant was worth about $300.

A Chicago police officer saw images of the attack and recognized Barner because the cop arrested him in June for allegedly having a firearm on the 79th Street Red Line platform, officials said.

In that case, police responded to a domestic incident at the station, and a witness told officers that a man involved in the incident had given a handgun to Barner, who was also at the scene, prosecutors said during a June 16 bail hearing. Cops patted Barner down and allegedly found a loaded 9-millimeter handgun in his possession.

Judge Barbara Dawkins allowed Barner to go home to await trial on the gun charge by posting a $500 deposit toward bail. On Sunday, prosecutors said Barner had an outstanding warrant in that case, possibly for violating probation.

Police saw Barner at the Roosevelt CTA station Saturday morning and took him into custody for the October 30 robbery.

His public defender said on Sunday that he lives in a shelter and has some mental health issues.

Judge Kelly McCarthy held him without bail on the outstanding warrant until Barner sees the judge handling that case. She set Barner’s bail for the new robbery charge at $55,000 with electronic monitoring. In other words, once the no-bail hold is lifted, he will have to pay $5,500 to go home with an ankle monitor. 

Three other men were charged with committing robberies on the CTA train system during Sunday’s bond court session:

  • Terrance Hardy and Gavon Easter were accused of helping three other people attack and rob a man on the Red Line near Roosevelt on Saturday morning. The victim pulled out a box cutter and then jumped from the moving train to escape the attack, prosecutors said.
  • Arshawn Gallaway was charged with committing an armed robbery at the Cicero Blue Line station on October 22. Prosecutors said he admitted to committing four other robberies on the Blue Line since then.

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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