Prosecutors said the attackers repeatedly came upon the victim, who pulled out a knife and fought the attackers early Friday morning.
The five accused of armed robbery are Sean Julens, 20; Latoya Thomas, 22 years old; Martinez Owens, 24 years old; Laron Williams, 26; and Vernon Holman, 52. Owens has an address in Calumet City. Officials said the others live in Chicago.
Holman was also charged with battery and the use of a lethal weapon for allegedly stabbing the victim in the shoulder. The other four were charged with a toughened battery.
All five appeared before Judge Barbara Dawkins in Criminal Bond Court on Sunday.
Prosecutors said the accident began just after 2 a.m. on Friday when the victim, a 42-year-old man, boarded a southbound Red Line train on the north side.
Owens and an as-yet-unidentified man began wrestling with the victim, threatening to beat him if he didn’t turn over his phone. When the victim tried to fight the attackers, two more people boarded the train and went to the victim. Prosecutors said someone kicked him, prompting the victim to respond.
“The victim feared for his life, and took a knife, and the offender hit Owens in the back,” one of the prosecutors said on Sunday.
Prosecutors said Owens and three others got off the train. The victim switched carriages while the train was moving and closed the door on the new car as he called 911. But prosecutors said Holman then approached the train car, and the victim opened the door because he did not recognize Holman from the initial attack. . Holman then began wrestling the victim to the ground. The victim then stabbed Holman in the neck, forcing Holman to get off the train.
Prosecutors said that when the train reached north and Claiborne stopped, Williams hit the victim in the head with a bottle. Prosecutors said Holman then returned with a knife and stabbed the victim in the shoulder. Prosecutors said Thomas hit the victim and took his bag, while Juliens hit the victim in the head with another bottle.
Prosecutors said the victim eventually managed to fight off his attackers and reach the other side of the railroad, where he called 911 a second time. The alleged assailants were arrested at the scene, and the victim was taken to hospital with serious injuries that included fractures to the face, cuts to the forehead and back of the head, scrapes, bruises and a stab wound to the shoulder.
On Sunday, prosecutors noted that the victim recognized the accused and that parts of the attack were captured by CTA video cameras.
The judge said it appeared that the defendants in the attack acted in concert with each other, and noted the length of time the robbery took. Prosecutors said Juliens and Williams are under surveillance for retail store robbery, and Holman has an assault case pending.
Bond is set at $50,000 for Thomas, $75,000 for Jullins, $250,000 for Holman, $100,000 for Williams, and $75,000 for Owens. The defendants are scheduled to appear again in court on August 1.
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