Chef badly injured after being pushed face-first onto CTA Blue Line tracks in Wicker Park

Liz Nagy Image
Friday, December 9, 2022
Chef pushed face-first onto CTA tracks in Wicker Park
Jose Duran, a chef at Schwa in Wicker Park, was badly injured when a stranger pushed him onto the CTA Blue Line tracks at the Division stop.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A chef was seriously injured when he was pushed face-first onto the CTA tracks in Wicker Park while on his way home from work.

Jose Duran said he was standing just a foot or so back from the platform edge wearing his headphones, something he said he won't ever do again.

READ MORE: Suspects at large after passenger attacked on CTA Red Line train, police say

His face is still swollen, cut and his cheekbone is shattered. His jaw is also wired shut for at least the next four weeks.

"I started being able to talk a little bit a few days ago," Duran said.

All from the actions of a total stranger on November 29. Duran was making his way home from work at the restaurant Schwa on the CTA Blue Line.

"I was waiting for my train at the Milwaukee and Division stop," he recalled. "I just heard a 'Hey!' and then I was on the tracks."

Duran said the man shoved him face-first onto the underground L tracks.

"It was a strong enough push that I just wasn't able to do anything," he said.

As bystanders helped a bloodied Duran up from the tracks, police wrestled Cory Patterson into custody. He broke an officer's nose in the process.

Duran narrowly missed the electrified third rail.

"The first two days that I was kind of still in the hospital with everything I was like, 'I could not be here,'" he said.

So instead of being angry, the Michelin-starred chef is grateful for what he now realizes he took for granted before.

"Right now I'm on a liquid diet so I miss food. I miss the texture, all the little things," Duran said.

Now he hopes to move closer to his restaurant to avoid commuting, when possible, and is eager to get back in the kitchen and eating again.

Patterson is charged with attempted murder and assaulting a police officer for the attack. He is due in court Friday.