Man sentenced to 3 years for pushing stranger off CTA platform

Chad Estep pleaded guilty last week to aggravated battery after a more serious charge of attempted murder was dropped.

CHICAGO — A Northwestern University neuroscience graduate was sentenced to three years in prison for pushing another man off a Chicago subway platform and onto train tracks.

Chad Estep pleaded guilty last week to aggravated battery after a more serious charge of attempted murder was dropped.

Estep was accused of approaching 46-year-old Ben Benedict from behind on a downtown subway station platform on Aug. 1, 2017. Prosecutors say Estep pushed Benedict onto the tracks with both hands, knocking him close to the electrified third rail.

Prosecutors allege the 34-year-old data analyst tried to block Benedict from getting back onto the platform and stop other commuters from helping him. Benedict climbed onto the platform seconds before a train arrived.

The motive for the attack is unclear. The men didn’t know each other.

Estep entered the plea last Wednesday and was taken into custody.