Two men got probation for Red Line battery case. Both got arrested again within weeks

CHICAGO — Two men accused of being part of a group that attacked and tried to rob a man on the Red Line downtown, causing the man to jump from the moving train, have pleaded guilty to battery charges in exchange for probation sentences.

Both men were arrested again within weeks of entering their guilty pleas.

Last November, officials said a CTA passenger pulled an emergency escape lever and jumped from a moving Red Line train to escape a group of robbers at the Roosevelt station in the Loop.

The victim was riding a northbound train when five men approached him and asked for cigarettes around 1:42 a.m., officials said. When he said he didn’t have any, the group closed in and started beating and robbing him.

Prosecutors said the victim, who lost $30 and cigarettes to the group, pulled out a box cutter to stop the attack. The group backed away, allowing him to pull the train’s emergency lever and then jump from the moving rail car at Roosevelt.

The group also exited at Roosevelt and started kicking the victim again, prosecutors said last year. Three offenders escaped. But two others stayed on the platform, and CTA surveillance camera operators sent Chicago police officers to arrest them.

Prosecutors said the victim identified Gavon Easter, 20, and Terrance Hardy, 22, as two of the men who attacked and robbed him.

They were both charged with robbery and battery charges, according to court records.

Hardy pleaded guilty to a reduced misdemeanor battery charge on June 8 in exchange for a sentence of two years probation and 100 hours of community service from Judge William Gamboney.

Terrance Hardy (L) and Gavon Easter | Chicago Police Department; CWBChicago

Less than a month later, on July 3, Chicago police arrested Hardy again in the 11600 block of South Michigan. The officers were at a gas station when they suspected Hardy had engaged in a hand-to-hand transaction, prosecutors said during his bail hearing.

The cops stopped him and found a loaded handgun with a 30-round extended magazine attached in his backpack, according to the allegations. They did not find any narcotics to support their belief that a transaction took place.

Prosecutors charged Hardy with felony aggravated unlawful use of a weapon. He is due in court again on January 18.

Easter pleaded guilty to felony aggravated battery of a transit passenger on September 21, court records show. Gamboney sentenced him to two years of probation, too. Prosecutors also dropped a charge of possessing a stolen motor vehicle that he had pending at the time of the CTA incident.

About a month later, on October 26, Easter was arrested in Streeterville on misdemeanor shoplifting allegations, according to Chicago police records. He is due in court on that case on Wednesday.

Then, on November 12, Chicago police arrested Easter again at Nordstrom Rack, 24 North State, in the Loop, according to a CPD arrest database. The police records show he was charged with misdemeanor retail theft. The case has not yet appeared in the clerk of court computer system.

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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