Out of prison for 2 months, he stabbed an Orange Line passenger 7 times during a robbery: prosecutors

Dircky Graves (right) and a CTA surveillance image of the robbery suspect that police released before his arrest. | Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — A man paroled from prison just two months ago is now accused of stabbing a CTA passenger seven times during a robbery on the Orange Line. Diricky Graves, 30, was also on bail for criminal trespass to a vehicle, a misdemeanor charge he picked up last month.

The attack unfolded as the 40-year-old victim listened to a podcast while riding a Midway-bound train around 4:30 a.m. Wednesday, prosecutor Sean Kelly told Judge Ankur Srivastava during Graves’ bail hearing Saturday afternoon.

Kelly said that as the train neared Western Avenue, Graves pinned the victim against the train wall, held a knife to the man’s neck with one hand, and placed his other hand over the victim’s mouth so he could not scream.

Graves demanded the man’s wallet, but the victim couldn’t move or reach it because his arms were pinned. And the victim couldn’t tell Graves that because Graves had his hand over his mouth, Kelly said.

Believing that the man was not following orders, Graves allegedly began stabbing the victim in the side of the neck and upper chest. He then backed off, allowing the victim to surrender his wallet and phone, Kelly said.

Graves threatened to kill the victim if he followed him off the train, then stabbed him one more time in the neck and exited at Western, according to Kelly. CTA surveillance video supported the victim’s version of events.

Kelly said the victim suffered seven stab wounds, four to the neck and three to the chest, one of which punctured his left lung.

Detectives determined that the robber entered the train system by swiping a Ventra card he purchased at a kiosk at O’Hare one day before the attack.

Police arrested Graves at the Pulaski Blue Line station on Friday. They noticed that he had a backpack that resembled one worn by the Orange Line attacker, Graves said. Inside the pack, cops allegedly found the robbery victim’s Ventra card and a knife.

Prosecutors charged him with attempted murder, armed robbery, and aggravated battery with a deadly weapon.

His defense attorney told Judge Srivastava on Saturday that Graves has significant mental health issues. The lawyer said he has four children and has been working in a barber shop for a month.

Srivastava held Graves without bail at the state’s request.

According to Illinois Department of Corrections records, Graves was sent to prison in December 2010 for an eight-year robbery sentence. Graves said that case also involved Graves attacking and robbing a CTA passenger.

Graves picked up three more felony convictions while he was in prison: one for possessing a weapon in a penal institution and two for aggravated battery of peace officers, IDOC records show.

He was released from prison on March 2. Given the new allegations, state officials are now reviewing his parole status.

CPD records show Graves was arrested on April 18 for criminal trespass to a vehicle in the 3700 block of West Roosevelt. He left the Ogden (10th) District police station about six hours later on a recognizance bond.

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