Chicago police nab suspect after fifth hammer attack on transit riders
Chicago transportation workers picketed Wednesday over safety concerns following a string of hammer attacks on trains and buses dating back to July, even after a suspect was apprehended by police early Tuesday after a fifth incident.
Curtis Tyler, 30, of Chicago, was arrested at 6:06 a.m. Tuesday in the 900 block of West Belmont Avenue, the Chicago Police Department said in a statement. He was identified as the offender who police said struck a 50-year-old man in the head with a hammer less than an hour earlier while riding the Red Line train in the 1200 block of North Clark Street, which is located in the 18th District.
The victim was transported to Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. He suffered a blow to his forehead, though his injuries were not believed to be life-threatening, CWB Chicago reported.
Several Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA) workers showed up outside the 95th Street Red Line station in matching T-shirts and with picket signs Wednesday morning calling for better safety measures on city trains and buses. Their chants were “no more mandates” and “cover us with safety.”
This comes after Mayor Lori Lightfoot indicated she supported vaccine mandates for all city employees, though negotiations with union were still ongoing and an official decree has yet to be issued.
Tyler was charged with one felony count of aggravated battery/use of a deadly weapon, as well as misdemeanor counts of theft worth less than $500 and public indecency/sex conduct. He also received a citation for carrying weapons within the Chicago Transportation Authority (CTA).
Sources told the news station that Tyler was found at the Belmont Red Line station in possession of a hammer.
Though the Chicago Police Department did not immediately disclose whether Tyler was tied to previous hammer attacks, sources confirmed to CWB that he is the same suspect the Chicago’s Bureau of Counter-Terrorism Public Transportation issued a public alert about last week after several incidents of aggravated battery on trains, buses or other CTA property dating back to at least July 21.
A photo showed Tyler being escorted by police after he was taken into custody Tuesday wearing red shoes and a do-rag. Surveillance photos released by the bureau last week of the serial hammer attack suspect showed him wearing similar attire on various dates and at different locations.
A Chicago police spokeswoman declined to clarify to Fox News whether Tyler was responsible for the previous attacks, saying only that the other incidents prior to Tuesday remained under investigation. Tyler is scheduled to appear in bond court Wednesday afternoon.
The first attack reported to police happened at 3:27 p.m. on July 21 on a bus at 3550 W. Addison St.
Police said the suspect was known to “utilize a hammer during commission of said incidents.”
The same man targeted his next victim on the Green Line Platform at West Lake Street around 11:10 a.m. on Aug. 6. Still no arrests had been made in connection to the incidents, allowing who detectives believe to be the same suspect to strike again at midnight on Aug. 13 in the Red Line Platform at State Street. The man has been tied to a fourth attack at 2:07 a.m. on Aug. 18 on the Red Line Platform at West Addison Street.