A Chicago man who has multiple convictions for assaulting CTA riders and is under investigation for nearly a dozen similar incidents, has been arrested and charged with the hammer attack of a Red Line train passenger early Tuesday on the Near North Side.
Curtis Tyler, 30, was ordered held on $350,000 bond during a hearing Wednesday afternoon following his arrest on charges of aggravated battery with a deadly weapon, theft and public indecency.
According to Cook County prosecutors, Tyler and a 50-year-old man were riding the Red Line train around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday near the Clark/Division station.
Tyler approached the victim, who was sitting by one of the train’s doors, and looked as if he was going to exit, prosecutors said. But instead, Tyler allegedly pulled out a hammer from a bag, struck the man in the forehead and fled the area.
The victim was hospitalized and received four staples to his head, prosecutors said, but he was able to give police a description of his attacker. Officers located Tyler at the Belmont Red Line station less than an hour later and he was detained after telling them he had “just got into it with somebody,” according to prosecutors.
Tyler had with him the same bag described by the victim, which contained a hammer and a knife, prosecutors said.
The victim was shown a photo array, but was unable to identify his attacker.
The incident was captured on surveillance footage from the CTA train. Tyler was also allegedly seen masturbating on the train, which led to the public indecency charge.
During Wednesday’s hearing, prosecutors said Tyler has been implicated in at least 11 attacks at CTA bus and train stops just between July 13 and Aug. 24, 2021. Those incidents include both robberies and hammer attacks, prosecutors said, and are still under investigation by the Chicago Police Department.
Tyler was previously convicted of an aggravated battery in 2012 when he attacked a person at a bus stop, prosecutors said, and again in 2014 when he punched a transit employee multiple times inside a CTA train station.
Tyler is due back in court for a hearing Sept. 1.