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I-Team Report: How safe is the CTA?

Monday, March 04, 2013

A pair of brutal attacks on the CTA once again has the I-Team looking into transit crime.

While Chicago police officials tout a declining citywide murder rate in February, violence continues unabated on the CTA, marked by a pair of weekend attacks against a CTA bus driver and a Red Line passenger.

The assaults come just after the I-Team reported significant increases in CTA violence during the last half of 2012.

A stun gun was used by a passenger on a CTA bus driver as she drove in the Austin neighborhood. It occurred on a #126 Jackson bus at Central Avenue on Saturday morning. The male passenger zapped the driver then grabbed her money and ran. He hasn't been caught.

Friday night a violent CTA incident occurred on a Red Line train. A man went berserk for 15 minutes, according to investigators, body slamming another passenger to the floorboard and then stomping and choking him.

Authorities have now charged Anthony McMillan with attempted murder and aggravated battery. Police say the 49-year-old man actually stopped for a short time during the attack to get his second wind.

The victim is in critical condition. McMillan is being held in the county jail on $350,000 bond.

The I-Team has learned that McMillan was arrested just last year in a similar case and charged with aggravated battery on a record highlighted by five felony convictions.

McMillan was arrested at the State and Chicago Red Line station. Authorities say they saw blood on his boots. This is the stop that was the most dangerous of all for passengers in 2012, according to CTA crime statistics first reported by the I-Team last month.

There were 359 crimes reported at that Chicago Avenue station in 2013, tops in the city among more than 6,800 assaults, robberies, thefts and similar offenses that occurred on the CTA last year, according to the I-Team's breakdown of the data.

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