Global terror threats on CTA? How about home-grown criminals?

Not too long after the heinous terrorists attacks on Paris, stories started surfacing about U.S. cities increasing vigilance against terrorist acts at home, including word that the CTA was stepping up security.

Loop CTA rape suspectThat just made me think that we’ve already had a recent spate of crime on the CTA. Here are just a few headlines I found from the last couple of days.

Woman accused of threatening CTA bus driver

$50K bond for Des Plaines man charged with attacking CTA train conductor

I was groped while traveling alone on the CTA

CTA Rapist On Probation for Domestic Battery at Time of Attack: Prosecutors

That last crime is particularly disturbing. The alleged offender (see photo) is charged with stalking a woman he followed from a Loop Red Line train, hitting her, throwing he down and demanding she take off her clothes. Then police say he raped and beat her.

And now we learn he was on probation of domestic battery when it happened.

Thankfully, the CTA got good surveillance footage of him, and he was identified.

So yes, let’s be careful for terrorists from abroad striking our transit systems. But maybe the recent flood of cops at stations will help tamp down acts of local terror, such as rape and groping.


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  • Main distinction is that those are individual perps instead of an organized plot.
    However, someone in the transit industry pointed out to me that if taggers can get into the 98th Yard undetected and completely deface a new train, there is nothing stopping a terrorist from sticking a bomb under it. Therefore, more has to be done in the homeland security sense than just having a couple of German Shepherds in a Metra station, or the spox not knowing if there are security cameras in the yard.

  • Well, you know we have to keep locking up the non-violent drug users, so someone has to be released from jail to make room, right? The criminal justice system in Illinois is a frikin joke. I just read that the Feds prosecute less than 1% of all illegal weapons charges. Rahm and his minions keep yabbering about how we need more gun control laws, but the county, state, and federal prosecutors *rarely* charge anyone, and when they are charged, their pals the judges dismiss the majority of the cases. In the rare case the perp is actually convicted, they generally get sentenced to a year, rather than the 3 year maximum. A felon caught with a weapon is looking at a minimum of 5 years in federal prison, but knows that the chance of being prosecuted is less than 1%. Yeah, that'll make them think twice.

    Sadly, the one thing all these mass shootings have in common is that the attackers target places where the folks will be unarmed. Gee, imagine that. Mass carnage knowing that the likelihood of someone shooting back is practically zero. Malls. Movie theaters. Military bases and ship yards. Schools. All places that have seen attacks recently where firearms are banned. Insanity in today's world.

    The CTA and Metra ban guns. Does anybody in their right mind actually think the criminals/terrorists give a rat's a** about the ban? Self defense is a right, but without the means to do it, it's a hollow right. Sure, there's no guarantee that armed patrons/passengers could prevent all casualties, but as the old saying goes, never bring a knife to a gun fight. If I'm caught in a life or death situation, I'll take my chances with a handgun over my knuckles.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    People aren't armed at a military base or shipyard? Even Beetle Bailey has a tank.

    I'm sure we are all going to endorse Shootout in Car 5516. Then Chicago Med will have a real story.

    The rape was off CTA property.
    Two of the assaults were on CTA employees. You want all 10,000 of the operating personnel, including those in the jail rehabilitation project, armed?

  • In reply to jack:

    No, bases do not allow soldiers to carry, even if they have a state-issued concealed carry permit. Only the MP's carry. A handful of Republican governors have moved to revoke the ban on National Guard bases.

    Anyone who chooses to arm themselves should be free to do so. If someone doesn't want to carry, then that's their choice, and I respect their decision. However, I don't like the politicians, you know, the ones with armed body guards, telling me that I can't legally carry. The state has no obligation to protect someone. When seconds count, the police are only minutes away.

  • There are now millions of U.S. citizens legally carrying concealed firearms in all 50 states. The predictions of blood in the streets by the nattering anti-gunners has proven to be false. As a whole, citizens with CCW permits have a lower crime rate than the general population. Heck, they have a lower crime rate than police. With millions of licenses out there, there has been a handful revoked. Why on Earth wouldn't we want law abiding citizens armed? The police can't be everywhere.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    For the reason I stated. Also, if the weapon truly is concealed, it is well established that the police does not have probable cause to stop and frisk for it.

    If the MPs can't take care of the situation, don't tell me a potential rape victim with a gun in her purse can. You still haven't answered whether every $16.50/hr CTA operating employee should be armed.

  • In reply to jack:

    If you're a law abiding citizen caught with a firearm on the CTA, trust me, the DA will make your life a living hell. If you're a gangbanger, you'll get a slap on the wrist, and the praise of your fellow gangbangers.

    There are millions of defensive uses of firearms each year. In the vast majority of cases, a shot is never fired, as the mere sight of the gun is enough to dissuade the criminal. Yes, this includes potential rape victims. I assume your answer is that the victim should just lie there are shut up?

    Yes, the CTA employees should be armed if they choose to be. The same goes for 7-11 clerks, school teachers, plumbers, little 'ol ladies, and garbage men. I trust the train/bus operator with my life each time I take a ride. If they're properly trained, there should be no reason to not trust them with a firearm. Many security guards make less than $16.50 an hour, and carry firearms.

    Frankly, I find your comment offensive. I assume you believe only highly paid white collar types, including aldermen, should be armed? A poor working mother working the night shift isn't entitled to protect herself?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    The rape victim has the choice of facing the risk of a gun charge and being shot back, vs. getting raped. My suggestion is to stay off the CTA entirely. Persons confronting armed robbers at ATMs in the suburbs have successfully avoided the robbers by driving off.

    The $16.50 was more of a reference to any untrained person off the street. No, I don't trust Britteny Haywood with my safety either, nor the bus driver who drove the bus into 205 N. Michigan Plaza.

    You also didn't read my point that the potential rape victim carrying a gun in a purse does not provide probable cause for a stop and frisk. How do I know, as a fellow passenger, that you are merely defensive? Passenger C should shoot you--you deserve it.

    Maybe Tyshawn Lee should have been brandishing a weapon, but if the police saw that, there would be another Black Lives Matter demonstration.

    BTW, how much is the NRA paying you to post this?

  • In reply to jack:

    Why should someone be forced to break the law to protect oneself? Why should someone be required to avoid the CTA, a public place, in order to excercise their constitutional right to self defense?

    Where did anyone say untrained? Do you have any idea what it takes to get a CCW license in this state?

    There are 12+ million CCW holders. Apparently, there are millions of Americans who can tell the difference between a thug threatening someone with bodily harm, and a law abiding citizen going about their daily business. Unfortunately, you seem to not be in that camp.

    NRA? Not a penny. I pay them my annual dues to help protect my rights, ones that your types have been (unsuccessfully) trying to errode for decades. Illinois was the last state to allow concealed carry. It only cost us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of dollars in legal fees until the Supreme Court finally put an end to the silliness.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    But you still have not answered what you are going to do when Passenger C decides you are a threat. I guess then he has the legal right to shoot you. Then passenger D has the legal right to shoot him.

    You don't seem to require police or military training for yourself or any other concealed carrier to assure that they exercise proper judgment in the situation.

  • In reply to jack:

    Jack, you're an idiot. There's simply no other way to put it. In your bizzaro, bass ackwards world the criminals are free to roam around with guns, but a law abiding citizen is forbidden from defending themselves without having to break the law. In your warped mind a person is allowed to shoot another person because they perceive them to be a threat. I have some bad news for you, the laws are quite clear as to what consititues a threat. It's covered in the CCW course. Using a firearm to defend yourself is a life changing decision, even if you are in the right.

    In addition, you seem to have a serious reading comprehension problem. At no point did I say one should be untrained. Can you please point out where I said that? Obtaining a CCW in Illinois requires 16 hours of classroom and range training.

    Face it, Jack. You are a typical anti-gunner. No amount of logic or statistics will change your mind that firearms are evil, baby killing machines. For ages you anti-gunners were saying that people should be required to be licenced to own a gun. Now, when we finally have a mechanism in place to do just that, it's not good enough. I can own a gun, but I'm not allowed to legally carry it on the CTA.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Face it, you are the average NRA unthinking member, totally immune to any "amount of logic or statistics." Is the 16 hours of "classroom and range training" the same as police officers get?

    Kevin, what about personal attacks in the comments? Is it now o.k. for a commenter to call another an idiot?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Claiming that a person can shoot another person because they perceive them to be a threat is in fact idiocy.

    If you used logic, I might be swayed. You haven't posted a single piece of evidence as to why a lay abiding citizen should be preventing from carrying a licensed firearm on the CTA. I won't hold my breath waiting.

    Police generally get ~60 hours of training in the academy. However, police are put in, and train for, situations that a normal person does not experience.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    By using the term "can" instead of possibly "who is properly trained would, in the proper exercise of judgment" proves my point.

    And I have to take it that you know what a "situation[] that a normal person does not experience" is and back off? Do you have the gun owners' liability insurance that is advertised? You'll need it. Or are you financially secure enough to make sure that "some accident" involving your use of a gun isn't going to bankrupt you?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    No, I don't have separate insurance, as it's not needed. Homeowners Liability insurance w/ an Umbrella policy covers injuries due to accidental discharge of a firearm when no criminal activity takes place, regardless of the location of the accident. It's no different than if I run somebody over with my car.

    There are roughly 600 accidental deaths each year involving firearms, which is roughly the same number of people who drown accidentally. There are over 4000 pedestrians killed each year by cars. Why are so worried about my gun, and not my bathtub?

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    This discussion was going pretty well until you started with the name-calling, Spiny. I think you can get your ideas across without doing that. So please stop. Thank you.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Because the last I knew, your bathtub was not on the CTA threatening other people. Your gun only has that purpose.

    And if you think running over someone with a car is analogous, the state requires proof of automobile liability insurance before you are allowed to renew your license plate sticker.

    You better hope that the police do not charge you when you use your gun, because, from your description of the homeowner's policy "when no criminal activity takes place," the insurance company will not be obligated to defend or indemnify you. You don't want to be another George Zimmerman in that event.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    In the referenced story, the woman was hit from behind, knocked down, and the assailant demanded that she take off her clothes. She had a concussion, and a broken nose.

    Jack, it sounds like you're saying that the woman needs more than 16 hours of training to identify the situation as a serious risk to her life, so she had better not shoot the guy? If she does shoot him, she had better damn sure she has liability insurance, because she'll be sued into bankruptcy.

    Again, you live in a very warped world. Your fear of law abiding citizens carrying guns allows the criminals to have free reign.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    Strange, there are hundreds of millions of guns in the U.S., and as far as I can tell not a single one has ever threatened anybody. Are you delusional? Do inanimate objects in your house talk to you? Threaten you? Is your electric drill locked away in a safe place?

    Gee, I guess I'll just have to take my chances. If I'm ever knocked on the head by an assailant, and my life threatened, I'll chance that the police will draw the correct conclusion. The CCW holder that killed an armed robber last week was quickly cleared of any wrongdoing.

    As the old saying goes, better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6. You may be willing to risk your life because you're afraid of a piece of metal, or worried about being charged by the police in a case of lawful self-defense, but many of us aren't.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    BTW, there is a perfectly legal way, suggested by another Chicago Now blogger for self defense--learn Krav Maga.

  • Obviously many haven't been paying attention, but there are now over 12 million people with CCW permits in the U.S, and the number is growing daily. There are many more carrying in states that don't require permits. At the same time the violent crime rate has been falling.

    If you're looking for a gun free utopia, then you're living in the right place. Chicago, the murder capital of the U.S. Well, Baltimore is giving us a run for our money. Until recently, it was impossible to own a legal firearm. We should be a crime free city, right? Yeah, except for the small problem with the criminal element. They don't seem to realize that shooting up the streets is illegal. Imagine that.

  • Here you go, Jack. I really wish ChicagoNow had an 'edit' function.

  • In reply to SpinyNorman:

    In an L car with 120 passengers, I suppose.

  • In reply to jack:

    Turns out, it was not.

  • Spiny, now you are calling Jack "delusional," though I asked you to stop with the name calling. I really think this conversation has run its course. So let's just stop now, ok? I would rather not close commenting.

  • Let's get to another topic. The folks at just picked up a DNAInfo article that Dorval Carter is recommending bringing back the 11 and 31 buses, although the goals of the trial have not yet been established.

    From reading that article, someone from the Mayor's office told Terry Peterson to turn on his hearing aid, as he claimed to have listened at the public hearing 3 years ago.

  • In reply to jack:

    Well, that's exciting news. I guess it remains to be seen how much the lapse in service has destroyed the ridership though.

  • In reply to chris:

    Also, I wonder what route (streets) it will take between Western and Lock (1400ish W).

  • In reply to urbanleftbehind:

    If you are referring to the 31 bus, it wouldn't. The study on the bus on west 31st (which became the extension of Route 35 west of Kedzie) said that there was no direct route via 31st, and it would make no sense to duplicate service on 35th or Archer. Thus, undoubtedly this only runs east of the Ashland Orange Line station.

  • In reply to chris:

    People seem pretty confident that Pawar and aldermen of adjoining wards can get riders onto 11. The question being bantered around on is what potential the 31 bus has, given that before it was axed, it was once an hour only during rush hour. The Sun-Times article today implies that 31 got into the mix because Pawar needed Patrick Daley Thompson (11th) on board.

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