18-time felon gets time served for stabbing CTA bus driver in the hand

CHICAGO — An 18-time convicted felon received a sentence of time served for allegedly stabbing a CTA bus driver who confronted him about stealing another passenger’s wallet.

Daniel Pelt, 64, pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a transit employee in exchange for a sentence of two years from Judge Shelley Sutker-Dermer, according to court records. By law, his sentence was reduced by 50% for good behavior, and credits for the time he spent in custody before pleading guilty offset the balance. He was released from Stateville Correctional Center on February 16, the same day he arrived.

Daniel Pelt | Chicago Police Department; Google

In November 2021, prosecutors said the bus driver confronted Pelt about stealing another passenger’s wallet from a cart while riding an eastbound North Avenue bus near Sedgwick Street in Old Town. 

The driver stopped the bus and held Pelt by the shoulders to keep him from leaving while another passenger called 911, officials said. But Pelt pulled out a knife, stabbed the driver in the hand, and fled. CTA surveillance cameras captured the entire incident, and one bus passenger recorded a video of Pelt escaping through the rear door.

Chicago police arrested Pelt on the Sedgwick Brown Line platform a few minutes later.

The CTA case is Pelt’s 19th felony conviction in Illinois, according to state records. His first prison sentence was a six-year term for robbery in 1983. Since then, he has been convicted of narcotics, theft, aggravated battery, burglary, and attempted robbery.