Four members of the Guardian Angels were stabbed when they rushed to help a rider under attack. The robbery victim was also injured during the attack.
The confrontation took place just after 11 p.m. Tuesday night on the train platform at Clark and Division on Chicago's Near North Side.
Wednesday morning, Miguel Fuentes couldn't help but wince at the pain of a jagged cut to his elbow that just missed slicing the nerves that control his fingers. And 17 stitches later he recounted how his assailant nailed him and three other Angels from behind.
"After we apprehended the individual who was pistol-whipping the CTA passenger, we were able to subdue him, get him on the ground with the gun," said Fuentes.
Chicago police confirm the Angels' story, that at 11:15 Tuesday night these good Samaritans saw a man pistol-whipping someone for their iPhone on an inbound Red Line train.
Fuentes grabbed the man's arm as he exited the train, but the robber took off to the turnstiles, where the other Angels took him down. That is when a second assailant started in with a knife.
"His buddy comes up from behind, pulls out a knife, starts stabbing the Guardian Angels, the first on the in the head," said Fuentes. "Then the next time, he was aiming for my head, and unfortunately I had to block it…I ended up using my arm and got stabbed in the arm. The other Guardian Angel got stabbed in the arm and another one got stabbed in the ribs."
Police responded quickly, but the robbers got away in a cab which they abandoned at Franklin and Orleans without paying.
The Angels have been invited to work with Chicago Police in identifying the thugs.
"We are hoping that the Chicago Police Department and the CTA are able to get some video footage, hoping they are able to get something that will help in apprehending the suspects," said Guardian Angels spokesperson Thomas Hunt.
Fuentes is the national director of the Guardian Angels. He says he is going back to the Red Line Wednesday to continue his duty because somebody is likely to need his help.