California woman attacked on CTA platform, falls on tracks during marathon weekend

Friday, October 15, 2021
Woman punched on CTA platform, falls on tracks during marathon weekend
Over Chicago Chicago Marathon weekend, a California woman was attacked on a CTA platform and then fell onto the tracks.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A California woman who was in Chicago with her daughter for the Chicago Marathon was punched on a CTA platform and then fell onto the tracks.

"By the time I had turned around, she was flying in the air," said Jessica Pagan, victim's daughter.

Pagan and her mother were leaving the McCormick Place Marathon Expo on Friday around 6 p.m. They had gone into the Cermak Green Line station when they encountered a man who appeared to have a problem.

"Talking to himself, he seemed angry and distressed," Pagan said.

Chicago police confirmed they'd arrested 32-year-old Gary Coleman after they say he repeatedly punched a 66-year-old woman on that CTA platform. He now faces four felony charges in that case. Court records show he was charged in a separate attack days earlier.

While police did not say who the victim in the CTA platform attack was, Pagan said it's her mother Denise.

"She wasn't moving," she recalled. "I thought the worst."

Pagan said she called 911 and three men jumped onto the tracks to lift her mom.

"She was kind of moaning in pain so I knew she was alive," Pagan said.

Pagan said her mom suffered a broken eye socket, a dislocated wrist and a concussion.

"It breaks my heart, and I am just thankful that it wasn't worse," she said.

With support from marathon officials, police, and the hospital team, Jessica Pagan was able to run the race Sunday.

"I wasn't even close to winning the race, but it felt like I did because I had overcome so much," she said.

Pagan's father surprised her at the finish line, to cap off what she said is her favorite marathon of the 10 she's run.

"That's the true Chicago, is the people that we met, the people that were so kind and caring," Pagan said.

Pagan said she has no idea who the three good Samaritans who helped her were, but she called them guardian angels.