3 years for man who participated in an 8-on-2 beat-down on the Red Line (but he won’t spend any time in prison)

CHICAGO — A man accused of being in a group of eight people who robbed two Red Line passengers in downtown Chicago has been sentenced to three years. But he will not serve any time in prison after receiving credit for the days he spent on electronic monitoring while the case was pending.

The victims were seated across from each other on the train near State-Chicago when someone reached into one of the victims’ pockets and took his wallet early on May 27, 2022, prosecutors said. When the other victim intervened in the theft, an entire group of people began punching and kicking the second man.

CTA surveillance video allegedly showed Travonte King swinging at both victims and taking the second man’s watch, prosecutors alleged during an initial bail hearing. Both victims suffered bruising and soreness but were not seriously injured.

Travonte King | Chicago Police Department; File

Investigators distributed frames from the CTA video to police across the city to see if anyone recognized the robbers. A detective and other cops who had previous encounters with King recognized him, thanks to his distinctive tattoos.

King was on an ankle monitor from shortly after his arrest until he recently pleaded guilty to aggravated battery of a transit employee, according to court records. Judge Jennifer Coleman sentenced him to three years with 554 days of credit for time he spent in jail and on electronic monitoring. Combined with a 50% sentence reduction for good behavior, the credits off-set his three-year sentence.

Prosecutors dropped robbery and mob action charges in their plea deal. None of the other seven assailants have been charged.

Picture perfect

Another man accused of robbing a Red Line passenger downtown has been sentenced to 4½ years in prison. Darius Clay, 32, has pleaded guilty to robbing a 29-year-old man on the Grand Red Line platform on New Year’s Day 2023.

Prosecutors said the victim was sitting on a bench around 3:30 a.m. when Clay sat down next to him and struck up a conversation. Clay then stood up, punched the victim, and threw him to the ground, officials said.

While the victim was down, Clay allegedly went through the man’s pockets and then fled with the victim’s backpack. But the victim got up, picked up his phone, and chased after Clay. He managed to take a picture of Clay’s face before Clay attacked him again and escaped on a train.

Chicago police transit officers who saw the picture recognized Clay at the Grand station a few weeks later and took him into custody.

With the state’s standard 50% sentence reduction for good behavior and credit for time spent in jail, Clay is expected to be paroled on February 23. Judge James Obbish handled the case.

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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