Man charged with punching, robbing CTA passenger is released after prosecutors fail to ask judge to keep him in jail

CHICAGO — Of the many questionable statements made by the CTA these days, there’s one that consistently gets an eye roll from the CWB team: It’s the recorded announcement that plays periodically, warning that any crime committed on the CTA will be “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.”

Case in point: Michael Guerrier.

On September 7, Chicago police arrested the 31-year-old at the O’Hare Blue Line station after a 46-year-old man reported that Guerrier punched him in the face, busting his lip.

According to Guerrier’s arrest report, the man was taken to Resurrection Hospital in good condition. And Guerrier, charged with misdemeanor battery, was released from the police station less than six hours later.

After Guerrier didn’t show up for court a couple of times, Judge Peter Gonzalez issued a warrant for his arrest on December 22, according to court records.

Michael Guerrier (Chicago Police Department)

Then, about a month later, Chicago cops were flagged down outside the Belmont CTA station in Lakeview. A 25-year-old Albany Park man told them that he had been attacked and robbed on the train.

He claimed he was riding the Red Line toward downtown when a man dressed in black clothing and wearing a black ski mask repeatedly punched him in the face and took his phone.

He confronted the assailant, who threw the phone at his head and fled at the Belmont stop, officials said.

CPD officers found a man matching the robber’s description in the 900 block of West Wellington a few minutes later. It was Michael Guerrier. The cops arrested Guerrier after the victim confirmed he was the assailant, according to a CPD report.

Prosecutors charged him with robbery.

Now, considering the CTA warning about crimes committed on the city’s transit system being “prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” what do you think happened when Guerrier showed up for a detention hearing on the robbery charge?

We’ll answer that question by sharing a couple of things that did not happen: Prosecutors did not ask the judge to keep Guerrier in jail. And the judge, Kelly McCarthy, did not put Guerrier on electronic monitoring. She instructed him to show up in court and stay out of trouble. So much for that “fullest extent of the law jazz.

Guerrier remained in custody for two more days, though, until Judge Peter Gonzalez, the one who signed that arrest warrant in December, could see Guerrier. After a brief appearance, Gonzalez cut Guerrier loose. He’s due back in court on February 15.

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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