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3 Teenagers Arrested In CTA Robberies, Including Attack On Local TV Host

One of the robberies involves PBS host Will Clinger, who was badly hurt after someone robbed him of his phone on the Red Line in April.

Passengers move on the platform at the CTA North/Clybourn Red Line station in Lincoln Park on Feb. 25, 2022.
Colin Boyle/Block Club Chicago

CHICAGO — Three teenagers were arrested Monday for a string of robberies on public transit in March and April, police said, including one in which a PBS personality was badly battered.

A 15-year-old male is charged with two robberies that occurred April 13. A 15-year-old female is charged in three robberies that occurred March 21 and April 25, two of which involved a victim over 60 years old. A 17-year-old male also was charged in the April 13 and April 25 robberies, police said.

All the charges are felonies.

The 15-year-old female and 17-year-old male are charged with robbing a 64-year-old man around 8:30 p.m. April 25 at the Addison station on the Red Line. Will Clinger, a local actor and host of “Wild Travels” on PBS, confirmed to the Tribune he was the victim in the attack.

Clinger told the Tribune he’d boarded the train at Thorndale and was looking at his phone as the train pulled into Addison, when a woman sitting across from him swiped the phone and ran off. Clinger said he ran after the person and fell. By the time he regained consciousness, Clinger said he was in the emergency room with bleeding to his brain, bruising, four stitches and a swollen hand.

Police initially said Clinger was accosted by two males who demanded his personal property. One of them punched Clinger in the face, causing him to fall and hit his head, police said. Clinger told the Tribune he had no memory of being punched.

In the other two attacks involving the 15-year-old female, police said she also robbed a 74-year-old male March 21 in the 1000 Block of West Fullerton Avenue, and a 28-year-old female April 25 in the 1100 block of West Thorndale Avenue.

In the April 13 incidents, police said the 15- and 17-year-old males robbed someone in the 600 block of South State Street, and a woman in the 1800 block of West Howard Street.

The three teens were arrested in the 5100 block of South Wentworth Avenue, police said. The 15-year-old female and the 17-year-old male appeared in juvenile court Tuesday and were released on electronic monitoring, over prosecutors objections, a Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office spokesperson said. Both teens are due back in court Wednesday.

The 15-year-old male is expected to appear in bond court Wednesday, according to a police spokesperson.

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