Chicago — A nine-time felon on parole for participating in the vicious beating and robbery of a Red Line passenger in 2020 battered and threatened to “bash in” the head of a 16-year-old girl on a downtown CTA platform last month, prosecutors said.
Lijah Graham, 45, was ordered held in lieu of a $5,000 bail payment during a bond hearing this week. But, while prosecutors told the judge that Graham is on parole, they did not mention that it’s for a violent crime on the CTA. And, officials said, the Illinois Department of Corrections is not reconsidering Graham’s parole status in light of the new allegations.
In October 2020, Graham was accused of punching a Red Line passenger in the face when the victim tried to stop a group of people from harassing a homeless man on a Red Line train near Roosevelt.
Some of the people were going through the homeless man’s pockets. Others tried to take off his shoes, prosecutors said during Graham’s 2020 bail hearing. After Graham punched the good Samaritan in the face, other group members started punching and kicking the man in his face. They dragged him across the train car, where Graham and an accomplice allegedly continued to beat him.
The victim suffered cuts, bruises, and chipped teeth during the attack, prosecutors said.
CTA surveillance cameras at the Roosevelt station allegedly captured footage of Graham walking out of the station with the victim’s shoulder bag containing a laptop and other items.
Graham eventually pleaded guilty to aggravated battery causing great bodily harm in exchange for a five-year sentence. He was released on December 23 after serving less than half that time, according to IDOC records.
On February 21, two months after getting out of prison, Graham stepped off a train at the State-Van Buren “L” station and started yelling at a 16-year-old girl who was going home from school, prosecutors said this week.
He demanded to know why the girl “turned away” from him, struck her in the arm, and told her he was “going to bash her head in,” Assistant State’s Attorney Anne McCord said.
The girl broke away and escaped on the train.
Investigators circulated pictures of the attacker to Chicago police officers across the city. McCord said multiple officers who are “very familiar” with him from previous incidents gave his name to detectives.
Police caught up with Graham this week in the 1100 block of South Wabash.
He’s now charged with aggravated battery of a transit passenger and failure to register as a convicted violent offender.
During Graham’s 2020 bail hearing, prosecutors said he was a 12-time convicted felon. This week, prosecutors said he has nine felony convictions.
Judge Mary Marubio ordered him to go on electronic monitoring if he posts bail.