News coverage helped cops identify Fullerton Red Line robber, prosecutors say

Chicago — A tipster who saw news coverage about a violent robbery at the Fullerton Red Line station last month led Chicago police to arrest one of two offenders, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The victim, a 55-year-old man, was riding home from work when a robber snatched his phone and wallet and ran from the train around 9:35 p.m. on October 2, officials said. He chased after the thief, but another man who was on the same train car started to chase the victim and eventually punched him in the back of the head, causing him to fall, prosecutor Rhianna Biernat said. The second attacker continued to hit the victim while he was on the ground.

She said the victim got back up and started to chase both men, but he fell down a flight of stairs and hit his head on a pole, causing a cut to his head that required 20 stitches to close.

Tyree Wilson and CTA surveillance images of one of the robbery suspects. | Chicago Police Department

Investigators released surveillance images of two suspects on October 13, and a tipster immediately called police to identify one of the men as 23-year-old Tyree Wilson. Biernat said the same person called police again the next day and gave them Wilson’s name, birthdate, and home address.

Chicago police arrested Wilson at the Roosevelt CTA station on Tuesday after they recognized him as the wanted man.

Biernat said Wilson was the offender who punched the victim in the back of the head and continued to hit him while he was on the ground. The victim could not identify Wilson because he was attacked from behind, she said.

He is charged with robbery and aggravated battery of a transit passenger.

Wilson is on parole for two burglary convictions. Judge Mary Marubio said he would be held without bail until the Illinois Department of Corrections reviews his parole status. She set bail in the new case at $75,000, meaning Wilson must post a $7,500 deposit to get out of jail should he become eligible for release. He’ll also be on electronic monitoring if he goes home, Marubio said.

Chicago police said these men robbed and punched a CTA passenger on the Red Line near Fullerton. | CPD

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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