DOWNTOWN — A boy screamed at and slapped a CTA employee’s head after having a “tantrum” at an “L” station in an incident caught on video.
The incident started when the boy, who looked to be in his young teens, tried to bring a Divvy bike through the station’s larger turnstile with a swing gate and a CTA employee told him not to, said Aaron Taylor, a witness who recorded the incident. Taylor said he shared his video on Facebook so people could find the boy who hit the woman.
“He should be ashamed of himself,” Taylor said. “He hit a mother, somebody’s mother. He should just be nothing but ashamed, to run and hit a woman like that who’s just doing her job. It’s just ridiculous.”
About 2:30 p.m. Sunday, Taylor was walking through the Washington/Wabash Station when he heard an “argument escalating” between the boy and the employee over the Divvy bike, he said.
The boy’s friend came over and yelled at the boy to leave the bike, but the boy continued to yell at the CTA employee and call her names, Taylor said. The boy pleaded with the employee but she told him he couldn’t take the bike through and said, “Take your hands off me,” Taylor said.
Taylor thought the incident “might get ugly,” so he started to record in case the video could be useful. The boy’s friend continued to tell him to leave the bike, and the boy threw the Divvy bike down and jumped the turnstile.
Then the boy turned and hit the back of the employee’s head, Taylor said.
“I was kind of in shock, but I was there just in case he tried to start a brawl with her,” Taylor said.
Taylor wanted to get a look at the boy, so he followed him onto the train platform and then onto a train, recording as he went.
Watch the video to see what happened:
The video shows the boy turn around, slap the back of the employee’s head and then run toward a train. Taylor follows the boy and his friend onto the train; right before the train’s doors close, the friend gets off. The boy stays on, but then pulls open the train doors and gets off, followed by Taylor.
“You don’t assault people,” Taylor tells the boy at one point. “Didn’t your mother teach you better than that?”
The two boys walk and run down the station’s stairs as Taylor follows. Taylor looks around the station for them, still recording, but is unable to find them and the video ends.
Block Club Chicago has obscured the faces of the boys in the video because the boys appear to be underage.
Taylor said the boy was having a “tantrum,” and noted the boy’s friend tried to calm him down. Police were called, but they weren’t able to find the boys, Taylor said.
The employee who was hit was “a little shaken” but was OK, Taylor said.
Chicago Police said they weren’t able to find information about the incident. The CTA said the two boys arrived at the station with a bike and refused to pay their fare, and then one of the boys hit a customer service assistant. The boys then jumped a turnstile, briefly got onto a train and then left, according to the CTA.
“The safety and security of our customers and employees is CTA’s paramount concern,” according to the CTA. “Our employee was not hurt and continued her shift.”
“Nobody should be hitting someone like that,” Taylor said. “It’s crazy. It’s absolutely insane. I hope the police get them.”