CTA weed deal went sideways, leaving victim choked, punched, and robbed, officials say

CHICAGO — A weed deal on the Red Line went sideways last week when the dealer and three other men decided to rob the customer instead of giving him some pot, according to prosecutors. And, officials say, when the victim pulled out a knife and tried to get his property back, the robbers countered by pulling out a gun.

Officials said the victim was on the 47th Street Red Line platform around 7 a.m. last Wednesday, February 21, when Davion Barnes walked up and announced, “Got weed.”

The 22-year-old commuter pulled $40 from his wallet to buy a supply. And then it went off the rails.

From left: Joseph Austin, Davion Barnes, Wrentles Brimmer, and Deonte Cousins (Chicago Police Department)

Joseph Austin, 26, choked the victim from behind and threatened to kill him as Deonte Cousins, 29, and Wrentles Brimmer, 23, went through his pockets, prosecutors said during the group’s detention hearing.

The crew allegedly beat the man, knocked him to the ground, and took the two phones, a charger, headphones, and the $40 he planned to spend on weed.

He wasn’t down for long. Officials say he sprang back up, backed away, and pulled out a knife, demanding his property back. But a woman handed Barnes a firearm, and he advised the victim that he wasn’t “getting his s*** back,” according to court filings.

The victim escaped and called 911, and the CTA helped out by holding up the trains. Cops arrested all four suspects on the platform.

All three men are charged with armed robbery, aggravated battery by strangulation, and aggravated unlawful restraint.

Austin had a warrant out for his arrest in a case that accused him of robbing and shoplifting from a string of Ulta Beauty and Sephora stores last August and September, according to court records.

Barnes is also charged with manufacture-delivery of cannabis and soliciting an unlawful business.

Judge David Kelly detained both of them. But, according to court records, Kelly rejected detention petitions filed against Cousins and Brimmer. He sent them home on ankle monitors.

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Tim Hecke is CWBChicago's managing partner. He started his career at KMOX, the legendary news radio station in St. Louis. From there, he moved on to work at stations in Minneapolis, Chicago, and New York City. Tim went on to build syndicated radio news and content services that served every one of America's 100 largest radio markets. He became CWBChicago's managing partner in 2019. His email address is tim@cwbchicago.com