CTA assault victim: Man heard her scream, walked away

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Thursday, May 14, 2015
A man attempted to sexually assault a 27-year-old woman riding on a CTA Red Line train on the city's North Side early Sunday morning, police say.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- The victim of an attempted sexual assault on a CTA Red Line train says a bystander heard her screaming, but walked away.

The woman was attacked early Sunday morning a southbound Red Line train. She told the Chicago Tribune that when the train doors opened at the North/ Clybourn stop she saw a man and screamed for help. He walked off, she said.

Surveillance video led police to arrest Ronald Sparks. The victim told police she and Sparks were the only ones in the train car when the incident occurred. Authorities said she declined medical attention.

"I think it's awesome that they did that and they were able to catch him. It's a relief to all of us college students who walk home alone at night from the library and such," said Alex Porter, a CTA rider.

Many DePaul University students are happy to hear a suspect was apprehended.

"I usually don't get on empty train cars because you're by yourself and you're a woman you're just subject to anything," said Alethea Binion, who also takes the CTA.

Thomas Hunt, of the Guardian Angels, handed out fliers with the surveillance photos on them early Monday morning. After he was informed of the arrest, Hunt said he was not surprised the suspect was caught.

"I was almost certain that he would get caught because the picture is so clear. The CTA spent so much time and effort installing these cameras," said Thomas Hunt of the Guardian Angels.

CTA passengers are urged to be aware of their surroundings and to commute in pairs or in a group, if possible. One passenger said she moves to the head car, where the train operator is, to feel safer.

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