Woman rejects probation, gets 4 years for pushing CTA passenger from Chicago Red Line platform

Nearly a year after she pleaded guilty, then withdrew her plea, a Chicago woman has been sentenced for pushing a stranger onto the Chicago-State Red Line tracks in an apparently random attack.

Officials said Janis Mayes, 58, walked up behind the 31-year-old victim and pushed her from the platform on the afternoon of June 30, 2020. Other CTA customers helped the woman get back on the platform as Mayes fled from the station.

Janis Mayes | Chicago Police Department

Officers searched the area and took Mayes into custody about two blocks away. According to officials, CTA surveillance cameras recorded the entire incident.

“The incident was deemed random,” a CPD spokesperson said at the time.

Mayes was initially released from jail on a $500 bail bond, but she was returned to custody in September 2021 after being arrested on a warrant in the Loop, records show.

Last April, she pleaded guilty to aggravated battery in a public place. Judge Maria Kuriakos-Ciesil sentenced her to 24 months of mental health probation with electronic monitoring, court records show.

But her assistant public defender filed a motion to withdraw the plea on May 6, saying Mayes “did not fully appreciate the consequences of the effect of being on electronic home monitoring and remains in custody due to the lack of suitable housing.”

Last month, Kuriakos-Ciesil handed Mayes a new sentence of four years in prison with 850 days credit.

Mayes reported to the Logan Correctional Center on February 10 and was paroled four days later, according to Illinois Department of Corrections records.

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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