Judge releases man accused of pushing 79-year-old woman to the ground near CTA station

Edwardo Echevarria | Google; Chicago Police Department

CHICAGO — After telling Judge David Kelly that a Chicago man had pushed a 79-year-old woman to the ground, causing her to hit her head on the cement, and had spread bloody saliva on a nurse who was treating him at a hospital, they asked Kelly to keep him in jail as a public safety threat.

Kelly said no, and then he released the man without electronic monitoring and without a curfew—just the standard instructions to show up for court and stay out of trouble.

The incident occurred Friday near the Ashland Orange Line station.

Prosecutors told Kelly that Edwardo Echevarria, 25, was chasing another man on the street around 3 p.m. when he crossed paths with the woman in the 3000 block of South Ashland. He pushed her in the chest, sending her to the ground. Her head hit the pavement, cutting the back of her head, according to court filings. She also injured her wrist in the fall. Prosecutors said a surveillance camera recorded footage of the incident.

CTA video showed that Echevarria had a Ka-Bar knife in a black sheath hanging from his belt on an Orange Line train before the incident, officials said.

First responders took Echevarria to Mt. Sinai Hospital for treatment of facial injuries he suffered in a previous incident.

While he was at the hospital, Echevarria spat bloody saliva on the palm of his hand and wiped it on the arm of a 48-year-old nurse, according to prosecutors. They said he also urinated and defecated on the hospital floor.

He’s charged with aggravated battery of a victim over 60 years old, aggravated battery of a nurse, and two ordinance violations for having weapons on the CTA.

Judge Kelly considered the state’s public safety detention petition but ultimately rejected it. He determined that no special restrictions are necessary to ensure the public’s safety while Echevarria is awaiting trial.

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