Witnessing a scam artist trying to earn a CTA cash settlement

I was on my way to a birthday party in Pilsen late Saturday afternoon on the #49 Western bus. We were slowly pulling in to the Western Blue Line station. A moment before we came to a stop, I saw a young man appear at the door and “throw” himself at the bus – or maybe the right side view mirror. Then he crumpled to the sidewalk out of view.

The bus driver immediately exclaimed, “Hey! You saw that. He’s playing with me.”

She opened the door to reveal the guy sprawled on the sidewalk by the door, his head toward the gutter. “You know there are cameras on this bus; they see everything,” she warned him.

It was pretty obvious to those of usĀ  on the bus who witnessed it that this guy was trying to scam a cash settlement from the CTA.

The guy didn’t move. A passenger came up front and asked him if he needed help. I didn’t hear any reply, but the passenger called 911.

Meanwhile, the bus driver was calling her supervisor. I noticed on Bus Tracker that another Western bus was just one minute behind us. So I asked the driver to open the back door and we boarded the arriving bus with the other delayed passengers. I don’t know what the final result was. We all talked about it on the second bus, and agreed the guy was trying to scam the CTA.

And it makes me wonder how often people try to scam the CTA to get some sort of settlement like this.


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  • He has to do it this way now.
    Since there are cameras on almost every bus, when a bus does get into a collision, they can view exactly who gets on the bus after the crash. They also can use the Chicago Card & reduced card info to further determine who was actually riding.
    So the CTA needs to now add forward facing cameras, just like Metra has on its locomotives & cab cars to see if the engineer was at fault or in almost all cases, it was a moron that laid down in front of the train or walked/drove around the lowered crossing gates.
    CTA could also use those cameras on Brown, Pink & Purple Lines with grade crossings.

  • In reply to ScooterLibbby:

    At least it is different from the days when there would be 40 people on an L train that had an accident and 250 climbing up the structure to scam a claim.

    But if he were really intelligent, he would get a civil rights or patent lawyer and threaten to sue Metra.

  • He's going to be sorry if they called an ambulance for him. That's $1000 ride if he has no insurance.

  • In reply to Cheryl:

    But how is the city going to get it out of him if he is broke and apparently doesn't have a cause of action against the CTA (at least what Oasis would be willing to bankroll, and even in Illinois that is a loan)?

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