Man charged with robbing, battering CTA passengers in the Loop

Chicago — A man charged last week with punching a 15-year-old in the face on a Blue Line train in the Loop was back in bond court over the weekend after Chicago police determined that he was also responsible for robbing a man on a CTA train in January.

Desean Shelton, a 31-year-old student at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago who wants to get a master’s in museum studies, denies being involved in either incident, his lawyer said at a bond hearing on Saturday.

Last Monday, prosecutors charged Shelton with aggravated battery of a transit passenger for allegedly attacking the 15-year-old at the LaSalle Blue Line station around 3:30 p.m. on February 6.

Desean Shelton | Chicago Police Department; Google

Prosecutors said CTA surveillance video showed Shelton stepping off the train and slugging the teen in the face two times as the boy was heading home from school. Shelton then engaged in an “altercation” with several other people outside the station and was taken from the scene in an ambulance, prosecutors said.

Investigators eventually pieced everything together and charged him last week. He was released on his own recognizance by Judge Susana Ortiz.

He wasn’t free for long. Officers arrested Shelton again on Friday in connection with the January robbery.

During Saturday’s bail hearing, prosecutors said a 47-year-old man was riding the train home from work when Shelton claimed that the victim struck him and then began punching the victim in the face at the Clark-Lake station.

Shelton grabbed the man’s phone and threw it to the ground, tossed his bag onto the platform, and continued punching him, prosecutors said. When the victim stepped off the train to get his bag, Shelton allegedly picked up the man’s phone and fled.

While Shelton was convicted of aggravated discharge of a firearm in 2014, his defense attorney over the weekend said he had “turned his life around” by getting his degree and going to college.

Judge Barbara Dawkins ordered Shelton to pay a $5,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. He can be reached at