Rape, Robbery, and a Stabbing in Chicago's 'Gun-Free' Public Transit

AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast

Chicago's transit system is a "gun-free zone", like all public transit in the state of Illinois. There've been a few attempts to get rid of the prohibition in the decade or so since the state reluctantly adopted a "shall issue" concealed carry law instead of defending its complete ban on carrying firearms before the U.S. Supreme Court, but they haven't gone far in the Democrat-controlled legislature. 


A federal court challenge to the carry ban is also underway, but for now, at least, carrying a gun on any CTA train or bus remains a criminal offense, and lawful gun owners are left defenseless against violent predators

A 17-year-old boy violently attacked and raped a woman he did not know while riding a Blue Line train on the Northwest Side, prosecutors say. Authorities charge Tyshawn Robinson as an adult with criminal sexual assault causing bodily harm.

CTA surveillance video showed Robinson, the 38-year-old victim, and other passengers were riding the same train when Robinson tried to touch the woman near the Addison station around midnight on April 29, officials said. 

The woman moved away, but Robinson kept following her. He eventually grabbed her by the body and pulled her onto his lap, prosecutors said in a detention petition. She tried to break free, but Robinson continually put her in a chokehold with her arm and forearm, preventing her escape, according to the allegations.

Robinson forced the woman over a seat in the car and sexually assaulted her at least twice as she fought back, prosecutors said.

Robinson ended the assault and fled when the train’s operator entered the car, according to court filings. A short time later, Chicago police found him nearby.


There were other passengers in the car, but none of them came to the woman's defense. And though the woman fought back as best she could, Robinson allegedly only stopped his attack when it looked like a CTA employee was about to intervene. 

Just a few days before that attack, a CTA platform was the scene of another violent crime; this one allegedly committed by a large group of offenders.

Mass Transit detectives are searching for five men in connection to an armed robbery on a CTA Red Line platform in the Roseland neighborhood last month.

Authorities said on April 24, just after 10 p.m., the suspects approached the victim on the 95th Street Dan Ryan platform in the 0-100 block of West 95th Street and took the victim's belongings by force.

The suspects captured by surveillance cameras were described as five Black men between 18 to 30 years old.

That barely made a blip in the local news, perhaps because the victim was uninjured in the attack. The local CBS affiliate gave a little more time and attention, however, when a man was recently charged with stabbing a 69-year-old man on a CTA bus back in January. 

Stanislav Zhuravel, 32, of Libertyville, Illinois, was arrested on Tuesday and charged with five felony counts, including attempted first-degree murder, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm to a person over 60, aggravated battery causing great bodily harm, aggravated battery with use of a deadly weapon, and aggravated battery to a transit employee or passenger.

Chicago police said that Zhuravel was identified as the person who, on Jan. 15, stabbed a 69-year-old man multiple times while on a CTA bus in the 1700 block of South State Street.


The website CWB Chicago (perhaps the best outlet for crime reporting in the Windy City) fleshed out some of the details about Zhuravel's court appearance, including the fact that he's already awaiting trial on three previous charges.

Court records show two of the three pending cases stemmed from incidents at a Walmart in Rolling Meadows on December 12. Zhuravel was charged with disorderly conduct and criminal damage to property after one man said Zhuravel threatened him, and another man said Zhuravel ripped a mirror off his car. 

A month later, on January 13, Zhuravel was charged with battery in Arlington Heights after he allegedly pushed a man to the ground and put his hands around the man’s neck, a court complaint said.

Cook County's criminal justice system is a broken mess, and it's naive to think it's going to improve anytime soon. I have a little more hope that the state's draconian gun laws will be revised for the better, though it's going to take the courts to make improvements given the stranglehold that Democrats have on state government. 

By banning concealed carry on public transportation, Illinois is not only preventing armed citizens from protecting themselves in "sensitive places" like the Chicago transit system. The state is blocking those armed citizens who rely on public transportation from exercising their right to carry throughout their daily routine. The result? Criminals have a target-rich environment of victims to choose from, while the fundamental right to armed self-defense is being stripped from lawful gun owners. 


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