Disturbing details of hour-long attack by CTA employee in Blue Line stairwell revealed in court

Liz Nagy Image
Tuesday, March 28, 2023
Disturbing details of hour-long attack by CTA worker revealed in court
CTA employee Emmet Richardson is accused of repeatedly and viciously beating and attacking a man in the LaSalle Blue Line station.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Prosecutors revealed disturbing details in court in the case of a CTA employee who is charged after a man was found beaten in a downtown Blue Line stairwell and later died.

Emmet Richardson remains in custody in the Cook County Jail, accused of violently and repeatedly assaulting a person in the LaSalle station.

Just after 4 a.m. Sunday, a 54-year-old man was found unresponsive in a stairwell landing in the Loop's 100 block of West Congress Parkway, police said. He was transported to Northwestern Hospital and pronounced dead.

Richardson, 39, is charged with felony aggravated battery of a transit passenger, among other charges, in connection with the man's death.

In court Tuesday afternoon, prosecutors said the victim first appears on the LaSalle Blue Line platform around 2 a.m. Saturday, pushing a wheelchair containing his belongings.

More than an hour later, prosecutors said Richardson starts his attack by pushing the man's wheelchair over for no apparent reason. For the next hour, prosecutors say the victim tried over and over to evade an increasingly enraged Richardson.

In the course of the roughly 60-minute attack, prosecutors say Richardson shoved the victim onto the escalator and pulled him by his hood and beat the victim with a cardboard drink carrier before they say he dragged the victim by the hood to the top of a flight of stairs and threw him feet over head down the stairs.

Prosecutors say Richardson poured full bottles of water on the victim's head and then propped the victim up against a railing, and struck him in the head multiple times when the man ultimately went unresponsive.

Prosecutors said in the video of the assault, the man who died was never once seen trying to fight back in self-defense.

Prosecutors said after the assault, the CTA employee called 911 himself, claiming to have found the man unresponsive with drug paraphernalia. The man was dead before 6 a.m., and police said a colleague identified Richardson in security video.

Richardson is being held on $3 million bond, and his attorney said he had no prior criminal record.

CTA President Dorval R. Carter Jr. released a statement Monday, saying Richardson has been removed from service without pay.

Carter's full statement:

"The actions on the part of this CTA employee are absolutely reprehensible. I am appalled by this person's behavior, which not only is completely contrary to CTA policies but also showed a stunning lack of humanity.

His actions are an insult to the thousands of hardworking and dedicated men and women who serve CTA customers every day.

The employee has been removed from service without pay pending further investigation and disciplinary action.

The CTA also continues to work closely with Chicago Police as they continue to investigate this incident."

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