Watch CBS News

Curtis Tyler Charged In Hammer Attack On CTA Red Line Train; Prosecutors Say He's Linked To At Least 11 Other Attacks

by CBS 2's Asal Rezaei and Mugo Odigwe

CHICAGO (CBS) -- A 30-year-old man has been charged in one of a string of terrifying attacks on the CTA, accused of hitting a 50-year-old man in the head with a hammer on the Red Line on Tuesday.

Curtis Tyler is charged with one felony count of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon. He's also charged misdemeanor counts of theft and public indecency, and was ticketed for carrying a weapon on the CTA.

A Cook County judge on Wednesday set his bond at $350,000, and ordered him placed on electronic monitoring if he is able to post bail.

Chicago police said he was arrested shortly after 6 a.m. Tuesday at the Belmont station on the Red Line, after he was identified as the man who hit a 50-year-old man in the head with a hammer less than an hour earlier on a Red Line train at the Clark/Division stop.

Tyler, a convicted felon, has a lengthy criminal record dating back to 2007.

At his bond hearing on Wednesday, Cook County prosecutors said Tyler admitted he was the one caught on surveillance video in the attack.

Prosecutors also said Tyler has been implicated in at least 11 different attacks on CTA trans and buses since July, including other hammer attacks and robberies. Police are still investigating those attacks and interviewing victims and witnesses.

Tuesday's hammer attack was at least the fifth such assault in the last month.

CTA workers protested near the 95th Red Line station Wednesday morning. They said they want to be able to do their jobs without the fear of being attacked.

The mayor and Chicago Police Supt. David Brown showed support for CTA workers and said change is coming. Brown said "we stand with you" and promised to send more resources.

"Won't put up with violence at any work place and the CTA is a workplace," Lightfoot said.

Amalgamated Transit Union President for Trains Eric Dixon said the increased violence they're seeing is unprecedented.

"These things like this didn't use to happen, of this magnitude in the past," Dixon said. "But now once again, it's happening more and more and so we are crying out to the public, to anyone that will listen to say 'hey, enough is enough.'"

Dixon said the CTA lines had their own police up until 1982. He said it's time to bring them back.

"But now more and more crime is happening in the city, and it's filtered over to the CTA. We have a lot of, you know, people out here homeless people now more so than ever before there's riding trains," Dixon said. "We have a lot of mentally disturbed people just out here riding the trains because a lot of the facilities are closed down."

Amalgamated Transit Union reps organized a rally Wednesday morning as a call to action to stop attacks like this from happening in the future.

"Our members come to work. I want them to be able to go back home the same way they came. Any one of us should be," Dixon said. "And so we're bringing that to the forefront to let people know that we're tired. We're sick and tired of our members being attacked."

For now, the CTA does not plan on adding any security to trains or buses.

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.