Men Charged In Red Line Train Robbery
UPDATED 02/09/11 1:22 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS/WBBM) – Two men were due in court Wednesday, charged with hitting a student on a CTA train outside Wrigley Field, and stealing a video camera, before being apprehended by Guardian Angels who were on the train.
The incident began about 1:40 a.m. Tuesday, according to Chicago Guardian Angels chapter leader Miguel Fuentes. He and two other Angels were on a northbound Red Line train when they saw three males walking through the train cars and “eyeballing the passengers.”
A few minutes later, near the Clark and Division station, they noticed two passengers with a video camera taping each other for a school project, Fuentes said.
The three men who the Angels had previously seen casing the passengers got off at the Addison stop alongside Wrigley Field, but before they did one of them hit the student with the video camera and took the camera, Fuentes said.
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The victim, Nepal native Raman Dhital, came to Chicago to study English as a second language only a month and a half ago.
“We were watching a video, but suddenly, when the door was about to open at Addison, one guy just got my camera and tried to see it,” Dhital said. “But I stood up and said, ‘Hey, that’s my camera. Give it to me.’ I saw the Guardian.”
The Angels followed and took the video camera from the alleged robber, Fuentes said, but the alleged robber “swings at me and hits me in the arm. I grabbed him and threw him against the train doors.”
During the struggle, the second of the three suspects “took a swing at me and hit me in the jaw,” Fuentes said. The third suspect ran away and the Angels did not pursue.
The first man “started to fight with us,” Fuentes said. “We wrestled him down and put him in handcuffs.” The train operator notified CTA Control, which called police. In the meantime, the Angels handcuffed the second suspect.
The robbery victim and his friend remained to press charges when police arrived, Fuentes said.
As police were searching one of the suspects, according to Fuentes, they found three cell phones on him.
Dhital says he’s thankful.
“They were very nice for me because they helped me,” he said.
The suspects — Ryan Mitchell, 19, of the 9600 block of South Langley Avenue; and Hoyle Marshall, 22, of the 9600 block of 9600 block of South Union Avenue — are charged with robbery and battery causing bodily harm, according to a release from police.
They allegedly struck the victim with a closed fist before taking his camera, according to the release.
The men were charged Wednesday and were to appear in bond court, police said.
Fuentes says the volunteer Guardian Angels typically patrol CTA trains five or six days a week, usually from 7 p.m. until at least through about 2 a.m.
As for Dhital, he says everybody is now giving him advice on safety — where to go, how to act — and don’t walk alone.
The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.