Reporting Bernie Tafoya
UPDATED 06/13/12 1:30 p.m.
CHICAGO (CBS) — Chicago Police hope surveillance pictures help lead them to one of three weekend mob attacks on people downtown.
As WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports, around 10:30 p.m. Saturday, a 23-year-old man was beaten up on the CTA Red Line near the State-Lake stop Saturday by a group of about six teenagers.
LISTEN: WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports
The teens had just stolen the man’s 27-year-old female friend’s iPhone 4S. She had dropped the phone, and a teen had picked it up and taken it for himself.
The man told the teen to give his wife her iPhone back. But they instead began punching him in the face.
The group then fled the train at State and Lake streets, near the Chicago Theatre.
Another woman with the group, from West Chicago, tells the Aurora Beacon-News it was the scariest night of her life.
She tells the paper she and her two friends got on the Red Line at the Addison stop after attending the Brad Paisley concert at Wrigley Field. Near downtown, the group of teens got on, and by the time it was over, the man with the group had a broken bone near his eye and broken teeth, and he was bloodied.
In the wake of the attack, the Guardian Angels will be helping by passing out fliers at the State-Lake Red Line subway station and elsewhere.
“We’ll be patrolling the CTA Red Line also, and the subway system, so we’ll be making fliers throughout the week and putting them up, handing them out, and sort of hoping we can jar somebody’s memory, and somebody can recognize that one individual or all the individuals and call the police,” said Guardian Angels Chicago chapter leader Miguel Fuentes.
Fuentes points out that CTA surveillance pictures helped police nab two men in a recent knife attack against four Guardian Angels – including himself – at the Clark/Division stop.
Police are looking for one girl and several boys in the Saturday night Red Line attack.
The Red Line incident was one of three high-profile attacks by teen mobs in the downtown area over the weekend.
Just before 10 p.m. Saturday, another teen mob attacked two men – one from Chicago, the other in town from Michigan – in the 500 block of North State Street. One victim was left with a broken jaw, the other suffered a cut lip.
In that case, the suspected muggers were apprehended quickly. They fled, but officers caught up with them on Kinzie Street between State Street and Wabash Avenue. Ten people were arrested.
One adult – 18-year-old Mitchell Coradarrowe, of the 5900 block of South Indiana Avenue – was charged with felony mob action and aggravated battery. Seven others, ages 13 to 16, were charged as juveniles with felony mob action.
In a third incident, a 36-year-old man was attacked by a teen mob as he walked home from work along Dewitt Place near Pearson Street in Streeterville.
Police say the man was robbed and attacked by anywhere from 10 to 20 people. The man was taken to the hospital with a head injury, but he was able to walk on his own after the attack.
Since the attack, the man, a doctor at Northwestern Memorial Hospital, has granted an interview to the Chicago Tribune’s John Kass for a column that ran Wednesday. The doctor told Kass that even though his home is four blocks from the hospital where he works, he will now be taking a cab home.
The doctor is Asian and the assailants African-American, but the victim told Kass he did not believe race was the motivation for the attack. He told Kass, rather, that the group seemed just to be beating people for fun.
Police Supt. Garry McCarthy pointed out earlier this week that there were similar mob attacks last summer, and his department was able to get the problem under control. He said he believes they’ll be able to do it again this year, and it’s a matter of making sure his officers are where they’re supposed to be, to prevent these incidents from happening.
Among the most high-profile incidents around this time last year were a pair of attacks by mobs in Streeterville – one on a man who was parking his scooter in the 300 block of East Chicago Avenue, the other of whom was assaulted while riding his bicycle at Lake Shore Drive and Huron Street.
Less than a week later, two teens were attacked by a large mob of teens at Chicago and Wabash avenues in a fight that began at the Oak Street Beach. The attack shocked and terrified many people on the street corner.
Also last summer, the developmentally disabled brother of Smashing Pumpkins frontman Billy Corgan was attacked by a mob while riding the CTA Red Line subway near Chicago Avenue.
Violent attacks by teen mobs also made headlines elsewhere in the country last year. In one headline-grabbing incident, 24 teens were arrested after violent mob attacks marred the Wisconsin State Fair in suburban Milwaukee.