5 charged with attempted murder for ‘straight-up beating’ of Red Line passenger in downtown Chicago

Chicago — Five men viciously beat, stomped, and kicked a man, leaving him seriously injured, after he asked them to stop blocking the doors on a Red Line car, preventing the train from moving and delaying his commute to work, prosecutors said Friday.

One of the accused men is on bail for allegedly threatening a Red Line passenger who asked him to stop blocking the train doors last month, according to court records. Another is on probation for robbing a Red Line passenger in 2020.

From left: Ramone Billingsley, Dayvon Carter, Dmari Parris, Jonathan Radney,and Kejuan Sample. | Chicago Police Department

“This was a straight-up beating on public transportation,” said Judge David Navarro before he held Ramone Billingsley, 28, Dayvon Carter, 20, Dmari Parris, 27, Jonathan Radney, 32, and Kejuan Sample, 19, without bail on felony charges of attempted murder, aggravated battery, and mob action.

The victim, a 26-year-old man, was riding to work around 10:50 p.m. Wednesday when a group of people delayed the train by keeping the doors open at the Harrison station, prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said.

When the train got to Monroe, the group confronted the victim, and Parris allegedly pushed him into the side of the train car. The victim pulled a knife to defend himself, and the group backed away. But an unknown member of the group hit him in the back of the head with a bottle, causing him to fall to the floor of the train car.

While he was down, the group, including all five of the accused men, jumped on top of the victim, kicking, punching, and stomping him, according to the allegations.

The group dragged him from the train and continued to attack him as he lay on the platform, using his hands to protect his face from the assault, officials said.

CTA video recorded the entire incident, Dale-Schmidt said. Near the end of the attack, Carter kicked the victim repeatedly in the face while the man was immobilized on the station floor, she said.

Officials said the victim was taken to Northwestern Memorial Hospital in fair condition with rib fractures, nasal fractures, and other injuries.

Chicago police took all five of the accused men into custody after using the CTA and CPD video networks to track them to various train stations, said Dale-Schmidt.

Three assistant public defenders represented the men during Friday’s bail hearing. Each attorney adopted the argument that the victim was apparently unable to identify the men because he was covering his face to protect himself during the attack.

“The defense argues, ‘Well, judge, I didn’t hear any ID from the victim,'” Judge Navarro said near the end of the hearing. “But the defendants do not get rewarded for placing the victim in a defensive posture so that the victim is unable to make identification. The [CTA] camera is a silent witness and captured the actions of each of these defendants.”

“This was a straight-up beating on public transportation by multiple individuals,” said Navarro. “[The victim was] left to defend himself, trying to keep from being kicked, trying to keep from being stomped, trying to keep from being injured any further.”

Court records show that Carter has been free on a recognizance bond since November 25, when he was charged with misdemeanor assault after an incident on a Red Line train at Cermak-Chinatown.

In that incident, a 60-year-old man asked Carter to stop blocking the train doors so they could continue their trip, a Chicago police report said. Carter threatened to “beat his ass” and motioned toward his jacket as if he had a weapon, according to the police report.

On August 5, witnesses chased after Carter and held him for police after he allegedly stole a 56-year-old California woman’s phone as she dined on a restaurant patio near State and Division, another Chicago police report said.

The woman refused to pursue felony charges, and prosecutors dropped misdemeanor theft charges against Carter a few weeks later, according to court records.

Parris has been on two years of mental health probation since July 8, after he pleaded guilty to committing two robberies, according to court records. In one case, he took a laptop computer from a 40-year-old man at the Cermak-Chinatown Red Line station. 

In the other robbery, Parris allegedly tried to take a man’s property on a Red Line train at 47th Street. When the victim refused to cooperate, Parris and others hit and kicked the victim in the face repeatedly until the man fell to the train floor. Parris then took the victim’s things, according to a CPD report.

Billingsley has previous felony convictions for robbery in 2015 and unlawful use of a weapon by a felon in 2019, Dale-Schmidt said. His defense attorney said he is a high school graduate with three children who works full-time handling packages for UPS on the overnight shift.

Sample is on juvenile supervision after being adjudicated delinquent for unlawful use of a weapon. He also has a pending felony ID theft case in Ohio, Dale-Schmidt said.

His public defender said he “attends Mount Carmel Baptist Church every single Sunday.” He is “incredibly excited” to be close to graduating high school and volunteers for a program that keeps minors away from narcotics, the lawyer said.

The same attorney represented Carter, saying he works with a group that keeps his neighborhood clean and ensures recycling bins are being used.

Radney’s lawyer said he has been a self-employed audio engineer for 20 years. His father is a pastor, the lawyer said, and Radney “often helps his dad prepare for Sunday services.”

All five men will be back in court on January 6.

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