Prosecutors say a Chicago man stabbed a Red Line passenger because the victim was vaping on the train in violation of a city ordinance.
The victim was wearing headphones, using his phone, and vaping as he rode a southbound train to work at the University of Chicago around 5:42 a.m. Thursday, prosecutors said. As the train passed through Lincoln Park, another passenger, identified by officials as 49-year-old Corey Bulliox, started yelling that vaping is not allowed on the CTA.
But the victim rejected Bulliox’s complaint because there were no signs on the train that prohibited vaping. The victim also pointed out that Bulliox was not his boss, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said.
Bulliox then pulled out a knife and threatened to kill the victim, according to Dale-Schmidt, so the victim stood up and moved to the opposite end of the rail car. Bulliox followed him and continued to intimidate and yell at him while he dialed 911.
After the victim’s call for help ended, Bulliox stood up and stabbed him in the abdomen, Dale-Schmidt said.
The victim and Bulliox exited the train at North Clybourn, where other passengers tended to the victim until first responders arrived. Police arrested Bulliox on the opposite platform a short time later.
Bulliox allegedly admitted to stabbing the victim because he was vaping on the train. Bulliox claimed he “rides the CTA to keep everyone safe,” Dale-Schmidt said.
A public defender said Bulliox worked full-time as a security guard at a hospital and served in the Navy for ten years. The lawyer said he might have some mental health and substance abuse issues.
In 1993, he was convicted of criminal sexual assault.
Now, he is charged with aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. Judge Susana Ortiz said he could go home on electronic monitoring by posting $10,000 toward his bail.
Police initially said the victim was robbed during the attack, but Dale-Schmidt clarified that the victim mistakenly believed Bulliox had taken his phone.
The use of electronic cigarettes is prohibited on CTA trains, buses, and property.