CHICAGO — A man seen in a viral video involved in an altercation with two CTA employees is demanding justice while the union that represents the fired drivers says the video doesn’t tell the whole story.
The nearly 30-second video was posted to social media the same day as the incident, which happened around 2 a.m. on June 11 near 77th and Western.
Lawrence Madden Jr., 43, said he was just trying to get to his father’s house, and told the driver he was being unprofessional by stopping and talking with another CTA driver. He said the driver was the aggressor and got off the bus and punched and kicked him, before another driver body slammed him.
The union president that represents CTA drivers, Keith Hill, said the video from inside of the bus, which has not been released publicly, shows Madden approaching the driver first and throwing some liquid on him before he headed back to the bus. Madden denies this.
A second CTA driver in the incident, Milen Williams, said he noticed there was a commotion going on. He asked if everything was OK. That’s when he noticed the other driver and Madden fighting. He stopped his bus and got out to help. He said he was just trying to protect his coworker.
Williams said he’s been a driver for five years and has an exemplary employment record. He also said he if could do it all over again, he would have tried to break up the fight before he got physical.
Hill said the driver should have never gotten off the bus or fought with Madden, but he doesn’t think either driver should have been fired. He is trying to get them reinstated.
Hill said while the drivers shouldn’t have gotten off their buses, he said they’re only human and they take a lot of abuse from passengers.
Attorneys for Madden said Chicago police didn’t try and help him after he was body slammed. His attorneys haven’t filed a lawsuit yet, they are still investigating. Attorney Arielle William said they want the CTA drivers to be held accountable.
“If it was me or Mr. Madden who did this — a regular citizen would be charged with battery,” she said.
His attorneys said Madden was the victim, but neither Madden nor his attorneys have seen the video cameras on the bus captured.
Madden said he suffered a concussion and other injuries because of the incident and is now afraid to ride the CTA.