Suburban man mugged Blue Line passenger, stuck around until cops arrived, prosecutors say

Benjamin Rivers (Chicago Police Department)

CHICAGO — Prosecutors say a Bellwood man teamed up with an accomplice to attack and rob a Blue Line passenger near the Illinois Medical District station on Thursday afternoon. CTA surveillance cameras recorded it all, according to Chicago police.

Benjamin Rivers Jr., 34, and an accomplice confronted the 35-year-old victim while riding the train around 4:45 p.m., officials said. The air punched the man repeatedly in the face, and the accomplice ripped away the man’s iPhone, according to prosecutors.

In a CPD arrest report, officers citing CTA video said the accomplice escaped with the man’s phone by jumping onto an outbound train before they arrived. But Rivers wasn’t so lucky. He was still on the platform when the cops showed up.

Prosecutors charged Rivers with robbery and misdemeanor battery. According to court records, he was hospitalized for an undisclosed reason at the time of his detention hearing. State law requires defendants to be physically present when a judge orders them detained, so Judge Maryam Ahmad said the state’s detention request would be considered when he appears in person.

Rivers was on pretrial release at the time of the robbery. Records show he was arrested in Oak Park on November 23 for misdemeanor charges of criminal damage and possessing drug paraphernalia.

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