Robbery Victim, 4 Guardian Angels Hurt In Red Line Attack
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UPDATED 05/16/12 7:58 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Police are on the hunt for suspects after a violent robbery and attack on the CTA Red Line, which left a victim and four Guardian Angels injured.
As CBS 2’s Susanna Song reports, the robbery happened around 11:30 p.m. at the Clark/Division subway station on the Near North Side.
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The Guardian Angels were patrolling the station in an effort to protect Chicago Transit Authority customers from getting robbed or mugged.
But the Guardian Angels themselves ended up being attacked and stabbed as they tried to stop a robbery. All of them were slashed with a knife.
Guardian Angels Chicago chapter leader Michael Fuentes was among those injured. He showed CBS 2 his bandaged arm where he was cut.
He said as a Red Line train pulled up next to the platform and came to a stop, he saw a man on the train steal a passenger’s iPhone.
“We noticed an individual pull out a handgun, and immediately start pistol-whipping a CTA passenger,” Fuentes said. “So as the doors opened, people were running out of the train. Obviously, they were in fear for their lives.”
That was when Fuentes and three other Guardian Angels tackled the robber. But just then, his accomplice rushed up.
“While we had this guy down – already pinned – the other guy comes, and he has a blunt object. He starts hitting us in the head. So we look up, he flips open a knife, and he starts stabbing us, and he stabbed one of the guys in the head. He went to go stab me. I put my arm up, and I ended up getting stabbed. He stabbed another guy,” Fuentes said. “So obviously at this time, we’re bleeding profusely, so we had to obviously let the individuals go.”
Guardian Angel Mario Rodriguez was the one who was stabbed in the head.
“I pulled away. He pulls out a knife and stabs me right in the head,” said Rodriguez, who now has staples in his head.
Another Guardian Angel was also cut in the right arm, and a needed stitches to his abdomen.
The 27-year-old male rider who was attacked was hit in the head, but he was treated and released from the hospital.
The robbers ran off, but Fuentes said the Guardian Angels were all able to get a pretty good look at the two robbers, and if they were able to run into them again on the CTA, they would be able to spot them right away.
Chicago police have also released surveillance images of the robbers on the CTA platform.
The attack had CTA riders nervous. Passenger Mauricio Diaz couldn’t believe it.
“It makes me think about, you know, my situation of going down there and going home,” Diaz said. “Do I make it home right? Do I make it home safe? What’s going to go on?”
But the Guardian Angels say they will be back on the very same platform Wednesday evening.
“We know the risk, and during the course of the Guardian Angels being around, we’ve lost six Guardian Angels in the line of duty. Others have been seriously injured and hurt,” Fuentes said.
With his wound, Fuentes says he’ll “take it a little slow, but I’ll be out there.”
As of 11 a.m. Wednesday, police had not made any arrests in connection with the attack. But there is a camera on the platform, and police are reviewing the video.