After kicking woman onto Red Line tracks, attacker told passersby she jumped in a suicide attempt: prosecutors

Chicago — After kicking a woman onto the Red Line tracks as an El train pulled into the Chicago-State station on Tuesday, Donald Jackson called the woman a “b*tch” and told bystanders that she threw herself on the tracks in a suicide attempt, prosecutors alleged Wednesday. The attack was captured on CTA surveillance video, and CWBChicago published a portion of the footage Wednesday morning.

Jackson, whom Chicago police identified in a press release by the alias Ashley Goss, was ordered held without bail by Judge Kelly McCarthy on a charge of attempted murder.

Donald Jackson, also known as Ashley Goss, and a frame from CTA surveillance video of the attack. | Provided; Chicago Police Department

The 23-year-old victim was waiting for the incoming train when she felt a hard push to her back, and she fell onto the tracks below around 9:31 a.m. She missed the electrified third rail by a “very small distance,” prosecutor Sarah Dale-Schmidt said during Jackson’s bail hearing. Jackson and the woman had never met before or had any interactions, according to Dale-Schmidt.

Officials said the CTA train operator saw the woman fall and was able to stop the train as she hurried off the tracks.

After the woman fell, Jackson allegedly called her a “b*tch” and told other CTA customers not to help her because she had thrown herself from the platform. The woman suffered a laceration to her forehead and bruising on her body.

Chicago police used CTA and CPD surveillance cameras to track Jackson before, during, and after the attack. Officers, directed by a camera operator, arrested Jackson inside a Taco Bell near the train station.

Jackson was free on a recognizance bond for a misdemeanor battery case at the time of the alleged murder attempt. The battery case, filed in August, accuses him of hitting a downtown Dunkin’ employee in the face because she refused to buy him a donut.

He was convicted of felony aggravated battery in 2011 and 2003. Dale-Schmidt said that the 2011 case resulted in 42 months of mental health confinement. He also has eleven misdemeanor convictions, most recently from 2010. In one of those cases, he allegedly knocked a victim’s teeth out at an ATM.

Jackson’s public defender, Matthew Shepard, said he had not seen the CTA video, but he speculated that the incident could be a “mutual combat situation.” Shepard claimed that Jackson was honorably discharged from the Marine Corps after serving three years.

Dale-Schmidt said Jackson has a history of providing false names and birthdates to law enforcement, putting him somewhere between 39 and 51 years old.

Our original reporting is 100% reader-funded. Please contribute to our operating fund or purchase a subscription today.