WICKER PARK — In two incidents late Tuesday and early Wednesday morning at the CTA Damen “L” platform, two women were threatened by two different men and one arrest was made, according to police and one of the victims.
In the first incident, two friends were returning home from a Chelsea Cutler concert at Chop Shop just after 11 p.m. Tuesday. They said they were waiting on the CTA Damen “L” elevated platform, 1558 N. Damen Ave., when a man threatened one of them.
“He said, ‘Can I have your number? I said no, and he said ‘I have a gun,’ and he gestured below, to his waist. We ran downstairs screaming,” the 22-year-old woman said.
The woman, who was with her male friend, said she was rattled by the encounter.
“He was in 60s, gray hair, wearing a red jacket and sweatpants,” the woman said. While she said she did not see the gun the man said he had, she treated the threat and man’s gesture to his waistband seriously. Her and her friend were observed on the sidewalk outside the station warning other commuters to not walk up to the platform because of the man.
Shakespeare District police arrived to the station at about 11:06 p.m. and the incident was coded as a disturbance related to a mental health issue and peace was restored, said Officer Jennifer Bryk, a Chicago Police spokeswoman. The man was unarmed, Bryk said.
The woman, who lives in Beverly, said she ended up getting back on the same southbound ‘L’ platform about 10 minutes later after the CTA worker assured her the man, who presumably took the next train, was gone.
“It was my first time at that station in Wicker Park. We were never reassured he didn’t have a gun. The CTA woman told us, ‘You can go about your day, the issue was resolved,'” the woman said on Wednesday morning.
About five hours later, Bryk said a different man was arrested at the same station after threatening a woman.
Around 4:07 a.m., Bryk said police arrested a 20-year-old man who’d threatened to “cause bodily harm” to a 29-year-old woman.
The man was still on the scene when police arrived and he was arrested. Charges are pending, Bryk said.
No further information on what sort of bodily harm the man tried to cause was available.