Man charged with ‘brutal attack’ at Chicago Union Station after being released on similar charges thanks to cashless bail law

CHICAGO — After prosecutors charged Diashun Dixson with randomly attacking two men, including a 64-year-old, at the Chicago French Market in May, a judge ordered him to pay a $10,000 bail deposit to be released on electronic monitoring.

Unable to post bail, he stayed in jail until December. That’s when his attorney, citing the September 18 elimination of cash bail in Illinois, filed a motion and won his release.

Barely a month later, Dixson walked up to a 19-year-old female college student at the Union Station food court and punched her in the face so hard that the impact fractured her nose and caused immediate swelling to her face, prosecutors allege.

He’s back in jail now.

Dixson, 20, was arrested for assault at the Harold Washington Library in the Loop on May 4 and was released from the police station on his own recognizance the next day.

What Chicago cops didn’t know at the time is that, according to prosecutors, Dixson randomly attacked two men at Metra’s Chicago French Market, 117 North Clinton, two days earlier. But he hadn’t been arrested for those attacks yet.

Diashun Dixson in 2022 (Chicago Police Department)

When Metra Police did catch up with Dixson, prosecutors charged him with three felonies: two counts of aggravated battery in a public place and aggravated battery of a victim older than 60.

They said he struck a 44-year-old man in the back of the head at the market on May 2. Also at the market that day, Dixson allegedly struck a 64-year-old man in the back of the head, knocking him to the ground. Once the man was down, Dixson kicked him in the head, prosecutors said.

A judge set bail at $100,000, meaning Dixson would have to pay $10,000 to get out on an ankle monitor.

He stayed in jail until December 19. That’s when his public defender filed a motion for release under the new Pretrial Fairness Act. The lawyer argued that Dixson was being jailed on charges not considered detainable offenses in Illinois’ new era of cashless bail.

The attorney also argued that the state had not filed a petition for detention since cash bail was eliminated, something they were required to do.

And the lawyer wrote, “Upon information and belief, Mr. Dixson has no misdemeanor or felony convictions.”

That’s not true. Cook County court records show he pleaded guilty to two counts of misdemeanor battery and four counts of aggravated assault on November 16, 2022, in exchange for a six-day jail sentence. Records show those allegations involved his behavior at the Roosevelt CTA station in the Loop.

Regardless, Judge Ursula Walowski agreed with Dixson’s lawyer and released him from jail.

Back on the streets, Dixson made his way to Union Station on the evening of January 28. A 19-year-old college student was sitting in the food court, doing homework, talking to her dad on the phone, and waiting for a bus to take her back to Madison, prosecutors say.

Without any provocation or warning, Dixson walked up to the woman and plowed his fist into her face, fracturing her nose and causing her to bleed profusely, according to prosecutors. He turned and ran away after the attack. But a Metra police officer saw it happen and chased him down, prosecutors said.

The woman was taken to Rush University Medical Center for treatment.

In a detention petition, prosecutors called it a “brutal attack”. They asked Judge William Fahy to keep Dixson in jail on charges of aggravated battery in a public place and aggravated battery causing great bodily harm Fahy agreed.

Dixson is due in court again on February 20.

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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