CHICAGO — As New York City reels, Chicagoans say they don’t even want to say the words aloud: What if? What if it also happened here?
“You see a lot of crazy stuff on the train, you know?” CTA rider Timothy Rettig told WGN News. “It’s not like there’s anybody down there doing anything about it.”
In light of the Brooklyn subway attack that wounded 10 and injured at least 16 people, transit agencies across the country pledged to increase security.
Last month, city officials said they were increasing the number of unarmed security guards on the CTA in an effort to curb violence. Attacks have continued, however.
A verbal altercation led to a 40-year-old man getting stabbed on a CTA Red Line train. The attack occurred Tuesday, the same day as a gunman in a gas mask and construction vest set off smoke grenades and fired bullets inside a rush-hour subway train in Brooklyn.
On Sunday, there was a shooting on a CTA bus in Lawndale near Pulaski and Polk.
Saturday morning near the Harold Washington Library-State/Van Buren stop on the Pink Line, Chicago police said a woman was beaten by a man who said he had a gun.
During rush hour Friday, a fight at the Roosevelt Road ‘L’ and subway station in the South Loop ended in a stabbing.
Thursday night, initial reports were a man was robbed and stabbed the CTA Green Line platform at the Cermak station. CTA issued a statement that said, “Our initial, preliminary review of footage at the Cermak-McCormick Place Green Line station, as well as nearby stations, does not show any evidence of an attack occurring on CTA property, including the platform or mezzanine. Further, security video does not show the victim at the station, nor on any Green Line train that stopped at the station.”
A week ago Monday, someone pushed a CTA train operator onto the tracks at the Granville Red Line stop in Edgewater, prompting the operators’ union to ask for more security.
In a statement Tuesday, Chicago police said they are “closely monitoring the events in New York City. While there is no actionable intelligence at this time, CPD will maintain the appropriate resources to ensure safety on the public transit system.”
Metra also deployed additional resources.
WGN News spoke with Deandre Jordan, a CTA rider who says the early morning rush hour feels extra vulnerable.
“It being so early in the morning, there isn’t really any security to stop anyone from doing something they’re not supposed to do,” Jordan said.
Train officials also remind the public if they see something to say something.
“It just makes me feel unsafe about riding the train,” Rettig added. “Now I have to watch out because you never know who’s thinking what, like what might be going through somebody’s mind.”