CHICAGO (CBS) — Two CTA employees have been fired for their roles in an altercation with a bus passenger earlier this week, but the man’s attorneys say they also should face criminal charges, after he was body-slammed to the pavement earlier this month.
Lawrence Madden Jr. said he was on a CTA bus headed south on Western Avenue around 2 a.m. on June 11, when the driver stopped the bus near 77th Street to talk to another bus driver for about 10 minutes. Madden said, when he accused the driver of unprofessional behavior, the driver got off the bus through the front door, and started walking to the rear door.
When Madden got off the bus, he said the driver punched and kicked him several times, and tripped him three times. He claimed that’s when the second CTA bus driver came up behind him, picked him up, and slammed him to the ground.
Madden’s attorney, Arielle Williams, said the bus driver had a responsibility to Madden and the other passengers to get them to their destinations in a safe and timely manner.
“Instead, he attacked Mr. Madden,” she said.
Last Night On The Southside Of Chicago 🌃
CTA Driver Flipped His Ass Like A Salad 🤣 pic.twitter.com/dNqryzS479
— MrTooCool 🥶 (@FtaMrTooCool) June 11, 2020
Video posted on Twitter shows two men, one of them dressed in a CTA uniform, standing next to a bus, apparently about to fight. A second man in a CTA uniform comes up behind one of the men, picks him up, and slams him to the ground.
The CTA employee is then heard shouting “you better get your a** home, boy,” as the man lies motionless on the ground.
Madden said he was just trying to defend himself when the second bus driver body-slammed him. He said he is still suffering from back and neck pain, as well as post-traumatic stress and paranoia, due to the attack.
“I’m going through pain right now. I can’t sleep. I’ve got headaches, depression, paranoia, thinking that somebody’s coming after me,” he said.
Madden said police responding to the scene failed to help him, even though he said he needed a paramedic.
“My back and everything, I just got slammed, or whatever. He say, ‘So what happened? What you do?’ I was like, ‘Sir, you can ask the CTA driver if you want to. He just pulled up in the terminal on 79th and Western,’” Madden said.
Madden said he feared police were going to lock him up, even though he said he did nothing wrong.
His attorneys said they are planning to file a lawsuit against the bus drivers, but also want them to face felony battery charges for attacking Madden.
“Had they been regular citizens, like you or I, they would have been arrested on the spot for their vicious and disturbing attack against Mr. Madden, but they were left to go free,” attorney Tamara Walker said.
Madden’s attorneys also said police had a responsibility to protect Madden and make sure he got any necessary medical attention, but they instead left him to walk several miles to his father’s house.
“He was on the ground. The police said, ‘What did you do?’ That’s all they cared about, is what Mr. Madden did. The guys in the uniforms, with the CTA uniforms, they were there to protect them, not Mr. Madden,” Williams said. “Instead of the police investigating, instead of the police rendering aid to Mr. Madden – Mr. Madden asked the police for medical attention – they did not do that, they left the scene.”
Williams and Walker said they have subpoenaed the CTA for surveillance video from the bus. They said the video would prove Madden did nothing to provoke the attack.
“There are many things that you have not seen, and we’re going to get that out,” Williams said.
CTA officials said the two employees involved were fired last week for conduct unbecoming a CTA employee, and for failure to report the incident, following an internal investigation.
“CTA’s number one priority is the safety and security of its riders and employees. The behavior of these former employees was unacceptable and is not at all reflective of the thousands of men and women who take pride and responsibility in their CTA duties,” a spokesperson stated in an email.