TV host Will Clinger describes attack, robbery on CTA Red Line train: 'I got stitches to prove it'

'Something must have hit me hard in the head. I got stitches to prove it," Will Clinger said.
CHICAGO (WLS) -- A Red Line robbery victim described the moments before he was attacked and injured by thieves earlier this week.

TV host Will Clinger has had 48 hours to heal from the assault that happened to him on the Red Line Monday evening as he headed downtown to meet a friend. He got on at Thorndale, and as the train pulled into Addison, things got, well, wild.

"I had my phone out and there were two people a woman and a man sitting across from me," Clinger said. "The woman darted across the aisle, grabbed the phone and both of them ran out the train car."

As he was next to the door, the 64-year-old bolted after them.

"It was pure instinct," he said. "I chased them down the platform and the next thing I know, I don't remember getting hit, but something must have hit me hard in the head. I got stitches to prove it."

He said he regrets his action.

"I went face forward onto the platform," Clinger said.

RELATED | Can the federal government help make the CTA safer?

The thieves got away on a night when police said there was another incident near Thorndale, a robbery of a female passenger.
In addition to regular CTA patrols, the agency confirmed it has contracts with private security firms to provide "an added presence across the system."

CTA said those unarmed guards "are trained in de-escalation techniques and are an added layer of trained eyes/ears... for reporting incidents to police."

Clinger, the host of "Wild Travels" on PBS, a show about eclectic encounters across America, was stunned at the violence. He suffered a contusion, brain bleed and a swollen right hand.

He was mugged years ago on the Washington DC transit system but he said, with some levity, that this was worse.

"This city is a great city," Clinger said. "It deserves to be enjoyed without feeling threatened, let's be honest."

The CTA declined an opportunity to do an on-camera interview to discuss this and other crime on the system. They have said in the past that for the size of the system and the number of rides offered, it's safe.

Police reiterated that you should never give chase when you're the victim of a criminal act. They continue to investigate the assault on Clinger.
Copyright © 2022 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.