Twice imprisoned for attacking people on CTA platforms, he did it again last month: prosecutors

Chicago — Prosecutors say a man who has been sent to prison twice for attacking people on CTA train platforms attacked a 64-year-old woman on a platform in downtown Chicago last month. The new allegations stem from a January 17 incident at the Washington Blue Line station, 19 North Dearborn.

CTA surveillance video showed a 64-year-old woman was waiting for the train around 6:52 a.m. when James Jackson, 55, walked up behind her and punched her in the face, prosecutors said.

Jackson walked away, and the woman was treated for bruises and lacerations on her face.

James Jackson (left) and CTA surveillance images that detectives released to the public in January. | Chicago Police Department

Chicago police released surveillance images of the attacker on January 20. Patrol officers familiar with the bulletin saw Jackson walking in the 1200 block of South Clinton on Thursday and took him into custody.

During Jackson’s bail hearing on Friday, prosecutors said he had been convicted of eight felonies, including two that involved similar attacks on the CTA.

In 2017, Jackson spit in the face of a Chicago police officer on the Green Line, then punched the cop repeatedly in the face after warning, “I’m gonna f*ck you up and kill you,” prosecutors said.

In 2009, Jackson attacked a Purple Line passenger, leaving that victim with two black eyes and head swelling.

His other felony convictions include a 2019 forgery and robbery-related cases in 2003 and 1994.

Jackson frequently attends church at a shelter where he currently lives, an assistant public defender said during the court hearing. The lawyer said he has a commercial driver’s license, but she also said he might be dealing with mental health issues.

Judge Charles Beach acknowledged the possibility of a mental health component in the allegations. Still, he said such challenges can make it difficult for some defendants to comply with court orders while released on bail.

He ordered Jackson to pay a $15,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring. Beach also signed an order for Jackson to receive medical care while jailed.

Jackson is charged with aggravated battery of a transit passenger and aggravated battery of a victim over 60 years old.

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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