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Police probe two stabbings within hours on CTA lines

Two stabbings hours apart on CTA trains
Two stabbings hours apart on CTA trains 01:59

CHICAGO (CBS) -- Two people were stabbed on CTA train lines within hours of each other late Tuesday and early Wednesday, amid sustained concerns about safety on the system.

As CBS 2's Tara Molina reported, police said at 4:36 a.m., a 40-year-old man was stabbed multiple times on the Orange Line near the Western Avenue stop on the cusp of Brighton Park and Gage Park.

Police said the victim was riding the Orange Line westbound when the attacker put a knife to this throat and demanded his belongings. The attacker stabbed the victim three times in his neck and chest before the victim even got to hand over his wallet and cellphone, police said in a community alert.

The victim was rushed to Mount Sinai Hospital in serious condition.

Police have released surveillance images of the suspected attacker.

Chicago Police

Hours earlier at 9:08 p.m. Tuesday, police said a 28-year-old man got into a fight with another man on a Red Line train car near the 95th Street terminal – and that second man, who was 21, stabbed him.

The victim was wounded in the abdomen, head, and arms, and was taken to Advocate Christ Medical Center in Oak Lawn in critical condition, police said.

Police found a knife at the scene.

We asked Chicago Police and Chicago Transit Authority officials what is being done about crime on our public transit - as we have for years now.

The CTA released this statement:

"As you know, the Chicago Police Department (CPD), which provides law enforcement for CTA, is best suited for addressing any questions related to the strategic deployment of resources. 

"CTA continues to work in close coordination with CPD on a daily basis to deter crime on or near CTA properties and will also assist in investigations when they do occur. CTA supplements CPD's efforts with its extensive security-camera network and with hundreds of personnel deployed across the system each day, around the clock who are trained and acutely focused on customer comfort and safety.

"As noted in a release issued by CPD earlier this week, it's because of this ongoing collaboration that violent crime on the CTA is down 14% month to date and 6% year to date, while overall transit crime is down 9% year to date and 15% lower compared to April 2022."

We ran the numbers ourselves to check them on that - and found violent crime is slightly down this year compared to last, but still higher than we saw pre-pandemic.

This table shows year-to-date data for crime on the CTA, including trains, stations, platforms, buses, bus stops, and parking lots.

Most of the crime is on the Dan Ryan of the Red Line as it was last year, but there were about 15 incidents between the Chicago Avenue and Grand Avenue stops in the State Street subway so far this year too. The west branch of the Blue Line along the Eisenhower Expressway saw about a dozen incidents as well.

Meanwhile, ridership is less than half of what it was prepandemic, as shown in the table below.

Chicago Police and CTA officials didn't share any information on specific plans to target crime heading into the summer. We will keep checking in on that. 

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