CHICAGO — A chance encounter between rival gang members at the Roosevelt Red Line platform devolved into a stabbing that left one man unable to speak or use the left side of his body, prosecutors said Sunday.
Chicago police initially said the victim “sustained a laceration” to his arm. But during a Sunday afternoon bail hearing for the man accused of attacking the victim, Assistant State’s Attorney Luka Jankovic painted a much starker picture. He said the victim lost two liters of blood and suffered brain damage from a stab wound that punctured his skull.
Judge Susana Ortiz held the accused man, Vidal Herazo, 22, in lieu of $250,000 bail. He’s charged with attempted murder.
Herazo exited a Red Line train at Roosevelt around 11:30 p.m. Friday and threw up a Two-Six gang hand sign as he passed the victim, Jankovic said. The other man responded by displaying a Latin King gang sign, and the two began arguing.
Jankovic said the victim pulled out a knife, then put it away and punched Herazo in the face. Herazo pulled out his own knife and chased the other man down the length of the platform, pushed him to the floor, and stabbed him three times in the head and once in the arm, according to Jankovic.
Herazo’s knife severed an artery in the man’s arm and penetrated the man’s skull, damaging the right side of the victim’s brain, said Jankovic. He said Herazo was still attacking the man when Chicago police arrived.
Jankovic said Herazo tossed his knife onto the train tracks and told officers, “the victim should not have f*cked with him.”
The cops applied a tourniquet to the victim’s arm, but he had already lost two liters of blood. The left side of the victim’s body “ceased functioning,” and he cannot speak, according to Jankovic, who said the man remains in critical condition.
Assistant Public Defender Kyle Morrison argued that the incident was a “mutual combat” situation and “could be a self-defense matter.” Both men escalated the situation, he said.
“I would agree with part of that,” Judge Ortiz replied. But she noted that Herazo is accused of continuing to stab the victim while the man was on the ground.
“I’m going to label it gang garbage… It leads to nowhere good for anyone that participates or is involved in it,” Ortiz continued.
She ordered Herazo to go on electronic monitoring if he successfully posts his $25,000 bail deposit.