Watch CBS News

CTA employee charged in connection with battery of man who later died

CTA employee charged in connection with battery of man who later died
CTA employee charged in connection with battery of man who later died 01:50

CHICAGO (CBS) – A CTA employee was charged with aggravated battery in connection with a weekend attack of a passenger on the LaSalle Blue Line platform.

That passenger later died. CBS 2's Sabrina Franza had the story.

Police sources told CBS 2 that at least part of the attack was caught on video. Police questioned a CTA employee for hours and on Monday afternoon charged him.

Emmett Richardson, 39, faces two felony counts of aggravated battery, one for attacking someone in a public place, another for harming a transit passenger.

At his bond hearing on Tuesday, a judge set Richardson's bail at $3 million. If he is able to post bond and get released from custody, he must be placed on electronic monitoring, and will be barred from CTA property. He is due back in court on April 5.

The attack happened around 4 a.m. on Saturday. The victim was a 54-year-old man, who sources said has his own lengthy criminal history. He was discovered unresponsive on the landing of the stairwell inside the LaSalle CTA platform.

Chicago police say CTA employee battered man who later died 02:17

That person's official cause of death is still unknown, though sources told CBS 2 that Richardson, who CTA records show has worked as a customer service assistant at the platform, was caught on camera punching and kicking that 54-year-old before he was taken into custody. It's not clear what started the argument.

First responders found the victim and brought him to Northwestern Memorial Hospital where he was pronounced dead. His cause of death is still undetermined as the Cook County Medical Examiner's Office looks to notify his family.

CTA previously said it is cooperating with police as Richardson was arrested shortly after the attack. In a statement on Monday, the agency said:

"The alleged actions on the part of this CTA employee are absolutely reprehensible. I am appalled by this person's alleged behavior, which not only is completely contrary to CTA policies but also showed a clear lack of humanity. 

Behavior like this is an insult to the thousands of hardworking and dedicated men and women who serve CTA customers every day. 

The employee has been removed from service without pay pending further investigation and disciplinary action. The CTA also continues to work closely with Chicago Police as they continue to investigate this incident."

CBS 2 also crunched the numbers on crime on CTA trains and platforms year to date between 2022 and this year.

Last year, there were 165 batteries. This year, that's down to 139.

Thefts were down too from 136 last year to 87 this year.

Robberies were also down from 98 in 2022 to 71 this year.

This latest case is still being considered a death investigation and has not been ruled a homicide.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.